A dance class is not just sitting and taking notes. It's about doing.

Students in Dustyn Martincich's classes had better be ready to get up and move.

"A dance class is not just sitting and taking notes. It's about doing," said the assistant professor of theater and dance. The same goes for her acting classes. Martincich is in the unusual position of teaching both jazz dance and beginning acting.

"I am interested in choreographing works where dancers will act and work with actors on movement," she said. "As skilled and well-rounded performers, actors and dancers should be able to do both."

Martincich's specialty is jazz dance, which she was drawn to by the visceral nature of jazz music.

"The study of jazz dance can be found in the formation of American identity, human experience and Africanist movement qualities, like 'get down'," Martincich said. "It's a communal experience as seen in social dances like swing and Lindy and it's about people letting loose and having a ridiculously fantastic connection to music."

Martincich works with the Matter Dance Company in Chicago, where she is currently choreographing a piece that celebrates great musical theatre jazz choreographers like Jack Cole, Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins.

Posted Sept. 22, 2008

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