Art project dances through Capital District

Warm up your jazz hands.

The Egg Center for the Performing Arts will host its Jazz Dance Project this Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Schenectady Public Library at 11 a.m.

The program will be offered in libraries throughout the Capital District until the end of the month, as well as The National Museum of Dance, the Schenectady Jewish Community Center and the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Colonie Center.

Jo Adams, a librarian at the Schenectady Public Library, said the reception of programs that the library has offered in the past has been positive. People absolutely love them, she said. Last year's program was on George Gershwin. Adams said the turnout was "incredible."

The Jazz Dance Project is part of the ongoing "Living Legacy" initiative. Through main stage performances and outreach programs in community cultural centers, the initiative explores the relationship between jazz and dance performance by tracing its history and demonstrating its relevance to modern audiences, choreographers and musicians.

"It's the type of programming that libraries really appreciate. We're on the lookout for programs that will relate to the [library's] collection," said Adams.

Adams said the library's collection includes biographies of dancers, videos, and magazines that deal with music, dance and the arts. She said that besides teaching the public about the history of Jazz, it's also a way for libraries to attract the public to show them items that might be of interest to them.

This year's program will explore the history of jazz dance through dance demonstrations and historic video footage.

Choreographers who were most influential in the development of the history of jazz will be highlighted, and there will be audience participation, as well.

Rusty Frank, a tap dancer and lindy hopper, producer, choreographer, writer and dance preservationist, will be traveling from California to teach the course and offer demonstrations on the various styles of jazz dance.

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