Giordano Dance Chicago
Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) is the original jazz dance company, captivating audiences worldwide with dynamic performances and the diversity and wide appeal of its repertoire. The mission of Giordano Dance Chicago is to create and present new and innovative jazz dance choreography, often redefining and expanding the very definition of jazz dance, and to bring this invaluable American art form to audiences and students of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds. Whether on the stage or in the classroom, we strive to enrich lives through dance. Known for its high-energy, high-impact artistry, GDC continually receives critical and audience acclaim worldwide.
Giordano Dance Chicago began in 1963 as Dance Incorporated Chicago and became the Giordano Dance Company in 1966 when many of its live performances were broadcast by Chicago’s Public Television Station, WTTW. In 1968 the company performed American jazz dance for the touring Bolshoi Ballet who were so impressed that an invitation was extended, and the company eventually toured the Soviet Union in 1974, the first jazz dance company to do so.
For 50 years, GDC has brought the excitement of American jazz dancing to audiences throughout the United States and in countries around the world — including Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, and Japan. GDC serves as host performing company at Jazz Dance World Congress, a biannual event which has been held at many national and international sites, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at the University at Buffalo, Chukio University in Japan, Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica, Phoenix, the City of Chicago, and Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the company “demonstrated that it now belongs in the front ranks of this
city’s resident companies.” In 2004, the company received a Chicago Dance Award for its production and performance of Ron De Jesus’ Prey, “representing the vital new directions taken by the company.” In 2012, Dance Magazine raved that the company is a “burst of pure dance joy that left the audience breathless and ready for more.”
In addition to its work on the stage, Giordano Dance Chicago enriches lives through outreach programs and activities which meet the needs of diverse and underserved communities. Over 300 classes are taught each year in the company’s signature program, Jazz Dance/Science & Health which just completed its sixth year in three underserved elementary schools in Chicago. This valuable program teaches state-mandated learning targets for nutrition, health and science through dance-centric classroom activities. Participating students from this program and from many other social service and community organizations are given complimentary tickets to view GDC in performance, thereby making the bridge from classroom to stage. Innovation and success in creating school performances, residencies, choreographic projects, and workshops are a hallmark of Giordano Dance Chicago’s extraordinary legacy.