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Meadows Hosts Symposium to Examine the Future of Jazz Dance and Pedagogy

Jazz dance professors and choreographers from across U.S. will convene at SMU June 18-20

Jazz dance professors and choreographers from all over the United States will convene at SMU Meadows June 18-20 to explore the past, current and future state of jazz dance and best practices for teaching the form.

Attendees will focus on such topics as the importance of pushing the boundaries of the jazz dance genre; the perceived devaluation of jazz dance in academic and “high art” settings; the impact of popular variety shows such as So You Think You Can Dance; and more.

Speakers include luminaries from the jazz dance world, including Cathy Young, director of the Boston Conservatory Division of Dance, speaking on jazz dance pedagogy, and Karla Grotting, dance professor at the University of Minnesota, who will do a presentation on African roots of jazz and the jazz timeline. Symposium director and SMU professor Danny Buraczeski will do a presentation on music for jazz dance; other speakers will touch on methodologies, the relationship between commercial and concert jazz dance and more.

“The Symposium will cover jazz today, what is happening and what can or should be happening,” says Buraczeski. “The jazz dance form needs to stay vital and inspiring to a new generation of dancers, and the Symposium will serve as an engine to spark ideas toward this goal.”

Spaces at the Symposium are already sold out. To find out more about the Symposium, contact Professor Danny Buraczeski at or 214-768-3818.

Award-winning jazz choreographer and SMU Professor Danny Buraczeski, director of the three-day Jazz Dance Symposium.

Danny Buraczeski's work as a classic jazz stylist for over two decades has traced a clear and deep investigation of jazz - its sources and ongoing evolution - with keen attention paid to the rich lineage of individual performers and movement makers.

After a career on Broadway appearing in such musicals as Mame with Angela Lansbury and The Act with Liza Minnelli, Danny formed the original New York City-based JAZZDANCE in 1979. Based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul from 1992 to 2005, the company performed at leading concert halls and festivals in more than 35 states and in Europe and the Caribbean.

Buraczeski has created works for the Boston Ballet, Ballet Memphis, the Zenon Dance Company, and many repertory companies and universities around the nation. He has taught at each of the nation's major dance festivals.

Among other awards, he has received multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, for whom he is now a regular panelist/consultant. He is the recipient of a 2003 McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship and was a 2004 Bush Foundation Fellow. He was named Artist of the Year by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2000.

Buraczeski began teaching at SMU Meadows in 2005.

The Dance Division develops disciplined, versatile dance artists through professional training in ballet, modern and jazz. In addition to technique training, students are immersed in historical, critical, and dance theory studies, with multiple opportunities to perform.

Coursework centers on three techniques: ballet, modern and jazz, all of which are required for all first-years and sophomores. During junior and senior year, students may select which techniques they want to concentrate on.

The SMU Meadows Division of Dance is one of the top universities offering both conservatory dance instruction and liberal arts training, thereby preparing its students for the marketplace and for post-dance careers. Many SMU Meadows Dance students pursue double-majors and minors outside of Dance, exercising an option not available at many top-tier conservatories and universities.

Student choreography is a major component of the student experience; the program also attracts an outstanding array of guest artists to present lectures and training. Students are admitted based on admission to the University and on audition.

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