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BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS Minneapolis 2006 - Jazzdance

For 20 years, Danny Buraczeski's company Jazzdance stood for artful evolution in every sense of the word. From classic modern dance to Broadway rhythms, from Benny Goodman to Astor Piazzolla, Buraczeski infused the rickety pastiche of styles known as "jazz dancing" with substance, wit, and social relevance. Before his company dissolved in 2005, he created a body of work that honored dancers by tapping into their talents and transforming them into hotshot performers, making them more musical, more glamorous, more human. In its final performance last April, Jazzdance brought heartfelt, kick-butt energy to a retrospective of Buraczeski's work since 1980. Present and former company members paid tribute to Buraczeski's popularity by igniting all the spaces between choreographic sophistication, physical accomplishment, and emotional complexity. While Eric Boone and Mary Ann Bradley entwined themselves in Cesaria Evora's vocals like liquid origami, Buraczeski and his muse Cathy Young charged Kurt Weill's mournful "Les Exiles" with the gritty nuance and layered sensations of a musky wine. And in the finale to Buraczeski's signature work, "Swing Concerto," the dancers swung out with the great gusto of Triathlon champs heading into the home stretch.

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