posted September 6, 2006

GPS to Open with Jazz Dance Company

The Hope College Great Performance Series is opening its season with the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 22-23, at 7:30 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

Considered one of the top jazz dance companies in the world, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (JRJP) is led by artistic director Billy Siegenfeld. He and his associate, Jeannie Hill, have been called "a delightful latter day Fred and Ginger" by "Dance Magazine."

The company is known for its rhythmically explosive dances which explore the elements of jazz dance - dancing and singing in swinging, high-energy bursts of body rhythms.

"Taut, precise, fast and far-moving jazz dancing," is how "The New York Times" described a performance. "Dance Magazine" has said, "Jump Rhythm makes the stage sizzle and the audience yell for more."

Originally based in New York, Siegenfeld moved his company to Chicago, where his trademarked rhythm-first approach to dancing has gained him international acclaim as a choreographer and instructor. Production is also beginning on a documentary about the company for PBS.

The performance will also be a homecoming for company member Jodi Kurtze, who is a Hope alumna. She graduated from the college in 2001with her B.A. in dance performance, choreography and communication, and while at Hope she performed, choreographed and toured with Aerial Dance Theater. She will be leading a masterclass for Hope College dance students during the company's visit.

The company will also host a question-and-answer time with the audience following the show.

Tickets for the performances are now on sale, and selling quickly, through the ticket office in the DeVos Fieldhouse, which is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and may be called at (616) 395-7890.

Tickets are $16 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for children 18 and under. Season tickets for the Great Performance Series are also available, and subscribers see two of the six shows for free.

Additional information about Jump Rhythm Jazz Project may be obtained by visiting the Hope College Great Performance Series Web site at www.hope.edu/gps.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets. The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.