Pulses: 8 movement jazz ballet composed by Antonio Ciacca
Premiered in La Spezia, IT in July 2019
Overture - 8 Minutes
Mov I: Goree - 5 minutes
Mov II: Little Daniel - 5 minutes
Mov III: Wuppertal - 8 minutes
Mov IV: Septet - 5 minutes
Mov V: Dorellana - 5 minutes
Mov VI: Lady Swing - 5 minutes
Mov VII: Wess & Blues - 6 minutes
Mov VIII: Pulses - 5 minutes
Aproximate duration of concert is 1 hour.
ANTONIO CIACCA SEPTET, JAZZ BALLET: "PULSES"
Musicians: Antonio Ciacca - piano, Andy Farber - tenor and soprano saxophones, Matt Martinez - alto saxophone, Michael Rorby - trombone, Benny Benack III - trumpet, Patrik Boman - bass, Luca Santaniello - drums
Dancers: Dora Ciacca, Selina Shida Hack, Anthony Santos, Garrett Joseph Parker, Javier Mejia Rodriguez.
Dance is a fundamental element of Jazz. On the Swing Era, Jazz was danced to on the great ballrooms of Savoy in Harlem and Grand Terrace in Chicago. In 1959 the great dancer Alvin Ailey founded the first school of modern ballet inspired by the African American music. Ailey started by choreographing spirituals, gospel music, blues and jazz. In 1960 Ailey conceived a ballet based solely on African American music entitled “Revelations”, with music ranging from spirituals like “Wade in The Water” to blues and gospel. The ballet goes through the journey of the African American people almost 100 years after emancipation. Years earlier, Duke Ellington wrote an opera of similar structure in 1943 entitled “Black, Brown and Beige”, featuring Mahalia Jackson. In 1963, the official centennial of the African American emancipation, the artistic encounter of both was inevitable, which resulted in “The River”, composed by Ellington and choreographed by Ailey which premiered at Lincoln Center in 1970. Other collaborations followed, among which “Night Creatures” for jazz orchestra and symphonic orchestra and “Pa Des Duke”, by Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
2019 marks the 60th anniversary of Alvin Ailey Dance Company and 30th anniversary of his death, so to pay homage to the genius dancer and choreographer, Antonio Ciacca - artistic director of the La Spezia Jazz Festival – composed “Pulses”, an original jazz ballet with 8 movements that has been choreographed and performed by former students of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in New York. The ballet is a journey through 8 different rhythmic pulses and 8 different choreographies. The piece is inspired and dedicated to Antonio’s daughter Dora Ciacca, a professional dancer who studied at Alvin Ailey Dance Company in New York, among other schools.
Photos of the 8 movements by Enrico Amici
Mov. III - Wuppertal
Mov. VI - Lady Swing
Mov. I - Goree
Mov. IV - Septet
Mov. VII - Wess & Blues
Mov. II - Little Daniel
Mov. V - Dorellana
Mov. VIII - Pulses