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About

COLE

'It's bigger than all of us.'  - Chet Walker

 

Thus was the birth of the first Theatrical Jazz Dance technique.

 

Cole's virtuosic and multi-cultural style, which he called 'urban folk dance', paved the way for such iconic figures as Agnes Des Mille, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Gwen Verdon, Twyla Tharp, and Andy Blankenbuehler. Though Cole went on to become a prolific Broadway and Film choreographer, his legacy has been widely forgotten. Those who do stumble upon this man's hidden, yet profound, legacy ultimately ask themselves... 'Why don't I know who this is?'

 

So was the question the late Broadway choreographer Chet Walker had when he began researching Jack Cole's legacy back in 2011. Walker dedicated much of his later career to passing on the legacy of Jack Cole, continuing this work for over a decade until his passing in 2022. Chet Walker's impact on the global Theater Dance community has led to multiple creative and educational endeavors to keep both his and Jack Cole's stories alive. 

 

Now, COLE is dedicated to continuing this mission in celebrating and preserving this branch of dance history, re-ingniting the level of authenticity and integrity held by Cole's original work into the current Theater Dance scene. We aim to continue sharing Cole's story, and to bring Cole's legacy into the 21st century by developing work in his essence that is both historically resonant and modern.

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Over a hundred years ago, Jack Cole changed the course of dance history when he traveled to places such as India and the Caribbean, seeking authentic immersion and training in numerous world and vernacular styles of dance. Back in the United States, Cole blended his interpretations of African dance, Bharatanatyam, and Afro-Latin dance styles, to name a few, with New York Lindy Hop and social dance, and European Ballet. Setting his choreography to popular Jazz and Swing music of the era, Cole charmed New York and Hollywood audiences with a new evocative type of entertainment no one had ever seen before. From there, Cole codified his own idiom and method of teaching this unique style of dancing.

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