FLOOR’D is a soulful and propulsive performance of dance, live music, and raw energy, all in the spirit of jazz. FLOOR’D draws inspiration from Katrina Hazard-Gordon’s renowned book, Jookin: The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture.
The work showcases the dynamics, relationships, and interactions of dancing bodies inspired by the arena of jook houses and how these bodies compose music – jazz and the blues. Dances in the jook included the Charleston, the shimmy, the snake hips, the funky butt, the twist, the slow drag, the black bottom, the fish tail, and the grind and more.
Jazz. Moves. Grooves. Bliss.
Choreographer: Natasha Powell
Performers: Caroline “Lady C” Fraser, Ashley “Colours” Perez, Sarah Tumaliuan, Miha Matevzic, Raoul Wilke
Holla Jazz is an award-winning dance company based in Toronto that explores soulful and funky approaches to jazz dance. The Holla Jazz experience is marked by their cool and contemporary way of producing fresh dance works, all while inspiring a lasting love and appreciation for jazz dance and music. The company’s inaugural production, FLOOR’D, garnered a Dora Mavor Moore Award for their Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble.
Established in 2016 by Artistic Director Natasha Powell, a Toronto native active in the dance industry for 17 years. Holla Jazz was founded as a forum for developing and presenting artists that work and improvise together, to create harmonious and transformative experiences. With Natasha leading with a soulful approach to movement that transcends genre can be seen and felt in her dancing, choreography, and teachings, the company aims to reinvigorate jazz dance with its sister dances including hip hop and house, as innovative and important vehicles for expression, while showcasing freedom and one’s own identity through the spirit of jazz.
The creation and production of this project was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council. Special thanks to Noah Feaver (original lighting design); Sarah Doucet (original costume design); James Kendal (set design); Gerald Heslop (music director when accompanied by musicians).
Photo by Tamara Romanchuk