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THE JACK COLE DANCERS'

A DANCE COMPANY/NIGHTCLUB ACT styled after Jack Cole's original Company of dancers. It was on the nightclub stage at NYC's own Embassy Club that Cole first put world and vernacular dances to Swing music of the 1920s era, sparking the new era of American Jazz Dancing.

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Nearly a hundred years ago, as the era of prohibition ended and the nightclub scene sprang to life once again throughout the country, choreographer Jack Cole and His Dancers dazzled New York and Chicago’s nightlife with a new provocative style of entertainment. On the booze scented, thundering nightclub dance floors at the likes of the Rainbow Room, history began. Used to cheap performances meant for their drunken peripheral, nightclub patrons were enraptured by Cole’s unique immersion of cultural dance styles that played with all aspects of dance - rhythm, tempo, levels, patterns - and offered an intriguing and nuanced 'high art' experience. This cross pollination of cultural movement ultimately fed into Cole’s own unique motor idiom and technique, and paved the way for the future of American Jazz Dance. 

 

The first seed of this phenomenon was seen at New York City’s Embassy Club, where Cole originally put East Indian Classical Dancing to modern Swing Music of the era. Known as an “American Nijisky” Cole's eccentric allure and his authentic, yet fresh, interpretation of world dance was something patrons here in America had never seen before. Cole's work had a unique way of speaking to the general public while also drawing them into the more sophisticated realm of classical and intelectual dancing. It was at Chicago’s Chez Paree where Cole and his dancers originally danced to ‘Sing Sing Sing,’ Benny Goodman’s exultant big band hit that would later be best associated with Fosse’s legacy and his Broadway show Dancin.’ Bob Fosse’s own wife and muse, Gwen Verdon, first began her career assisting Jack Cole and could be seen swinging and grooving in his nightclub acts years before meeting her future husband and becoming a Broadway legend in her own rite. 

 

With his company of highly trained dancers, Cole’s work continued to thrill Nightclub audiences for three decades. His work offered exhilarating and virtuosic dance numbers filled with knee slides and drops, hinges, back flips, rhythmic footwork and high energy partnering, pushing the boundary of what commercial dance could offer. Who wouldn't have been captivated by seeing this majestic work up close for cheap with a drink in hand?

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Our mission now, a hundred years later, is to revive the style of exciting, dynamic, and legitimate work that was seen in Cole's Club Acts, and to make Theater and Jazz Dancing more accessible to the general public. Jazz dancing with the level of grit, authenticity and thrill of Cole’s has been widely lost. Today, Jazz Dance is considered to be solely a commercial art form associated with the tourist ventures of contemporary Broadway theater. But it is time to give it new life and understanding - and what better space than where it all began, in the invigorating nightlife scene here in New York? 

 

Taking on the namesake of Cole's own company, our act reflects that of the original Jack Cole Dancers, incorporating dance and music pieces inspired by Cole’s essence and performed by a group of artists trained in the Cole method and technique. The Jack Cole Dancers' acts offer the unique level of entertainment Cole’s act provided, through a relevant and modern lens. The show transports its audience back to the age of classic burlesque and cabaret acts, to the mystery, charm, and titillation of a night out at the club

OUR MISSION

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