Floor'd (Production Premiere April 2018).
Set in a jook joint, Floor’d draws inspiration from Katrina Hazard-Gordon’s renowned book, Jookin: The Rise of Social Dance Formations in African-American Culture.
The jook is the institution that could be found exclusively in black communities and operated without assistance from public officials. The jook was the first institution after Emancipation, that had foundations based on West African traditions, giving rise and rejuvenating many cultural traditions. In jook joints, black dance culture crystallized into exportable forms, providing black lower and working classes with the primary public arena for dance. 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.
In Floor’d, Holla Jazz will showcase the dynamics, relationships, and interactions of dancing bodies within the arena of jook houses and how these bodies compose music - jazz and the blues.
The creation of this new production is supported by the Ontario Arts Council Dance Initiatives Program; recommended by Native Earth Performing Arts for support through the Theatre Creators Reserve Program; Toronto Arts Council; and Canada Council for the Arts.