Like many arts organizations, Giordano Dance has had to cancel much of its fall 2020 season but that is not stopping the dance. They are pushing the envelope by offering training of their groundbreaking techniques virtually. Nothing stops their enthusiasm for dance.
Giordano Dance 58th Season is not going as planned. Covid 19 and social distancing rules have killed art performance. Like the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Opera and other arts organizations around the country, Giordano Dance has had to cancel much of its fall 2020 season. Known for electric and highly-energy performances, they leaped onto the stage to an audience that was just as electrified to see them. Their presentation is entertaining and unconventional which is typical. Giordano Dance is less about telling a story through dance as they are about conveying energy, emotions and pushing the limits of what the body can do. While they do display subtle emotional overtones through their dance, their energy jolts a reaction from the audience. When they do use emotion in their presentation, they are effectively guiding the emotions of the audience into a state of enthusiasm — think of the emotions of a flashmob. Audiences are mesmerized and embrace their performances with unbridled support and applause. They are a small ensemble of dancers but take command of the stage and feel like a much larger dance company with a look and feel of a company twice or three times their size. They have the presence and stamina to that of a small army. This group dominates a stage like none other. Their movements are highly aerobic, explosive, decisive, and strategic.
Giordano has had to adapt to the environment of the time. As school and other educational outlets are going virtual, Giordano Dance has been doing the same. Giordano has a unique form, methodology, and structure to their routines. Teaching has always been a large component of their work. Pushing the work to virtual has allowed them to expand their reach to communities around the globe. Dancers who have seen their shows but have never had the opportunity to have regular training can now embrace their teaching methods to grow in their own art. five levels of the Nan Giordano Certification Program® (NGCP®) have been developed by Nan Giordano.
Carrying on the legacy of her father, Nan Giordano, Artistic Director of Giordano Dance Chicago, is the world’s authority on the essence, discipline, progression, and continuance of the Giordano Technique. Nan was trained and mentored by her father, dance pioneer Gus Giordano who founded the company in 1963. It has been her task to adapt and enhanced the Giordano Technique and to keep it fresh, vital, and of the moment. This currently means taking the teaching virtually to keep a safe, Covid-free place for expression.
This virtual program is aimed at dance professionals and teachers. Starting with the BASIC Level, each of the five levels has its own curriculum and is taught in separate certification workshops. Participants are given codified dance notation to enhance the learning and to help them master the complexity of the form. Each level has ten lessons tailored to the needs of the student — typically a studio, high school, or university program professionals. The structure of the lessons and the pacing is modified to the person’s particular program to keep it relevant to their needs. Some NGCP® certified teachers choose to concentrate on a consecutive ten-week course structure while others use the material for a year-long intensive program. The content taught in the five levels (Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Professional) draws from the Giordano Technique’s rich heritage. It has been further enhanced, developed, and structured by Nan Giordano. The curriculum is taught by Nan, instructor Cesar G. Salinas and members of Giordano Dance Chicago.
Four of the five levels are currently being offered virtually online. The Professional level requires one-on-one training and is not offered virtually. In order to become a certified teacher of the Giordano Technique, one must train with Nan Giordano. As one progresses through the levels, the pacing of the class, the complexity of the movement, and the focus on style increases. The classes build on one another and become more challenging yet extremely enjoyable. As one focuses on the techniques, the student realizes that the Giordano Technique is not external; rather, they emanate from within. The course work found in the beginning levels helps to prepare the dancer to develop the Giordano spirit and energy that one has come to associate with the Giordano Dance Company. Remaining focused on the excitement of dance is just one way of keeping the spirit of Giordano accessible to the public and growing during covid times.
As of this writing, Giordano Dance Chicago is looking forward to returning to performances at Auditorium Theatre as part of their Made in Chicago Dance Series (January 30, 2021), the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts (March 20, 2021), and a first-ever summer series (June 11 and 12, 2021) at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance. Keep abreast of their activities by going to their website at https://www.giordanodance.org