American Arts Trust

A Dialectic in Rhythm


Jazz, Tap and Beat Poetry
in Dynamic Exchanges

A highly theatrical performance art event that fuses Dance, Music and Poetry. Taking the familiar and presenting it in a totally fresh context.

This is a treatment for a unique evening in the theater (currently in development).

The problem: How to take three American art forms — Jazz, Tap and Beat Poetry — and pull them back from their current path of being encased in glass and stored forever in a museum setting — only to be seen in reproductions.

The answer: Prove they are supple and elastic. Showcase them from a different angle in a different role so they can be seen as meaningful, relevant, and, still, cutting-edge.


Dialectic 2


The idea is simple. Take the best from each of these classic disciplines. Put them together in space and through a classic Socratic dialectic… a no-holds-barred discussion of logic using the thesis, antithesis and resolution method...see what happens. Voice, dance and music do not often share the same language, so how can a discussion take place? They do have one common language that will allow this…rhythm.

Jazz, Tap and Beat poetry are quintessential American forms of self-expression. Each is restricted by a distinct language and a defined relationship:  where music backs up dance, or music underscores speech, or voice illuminates song or dance, etc. In these interactions there is no real conversation or sharing of ideas but what if each spoke with equal voice? If they could have a discourse using their one common element — rhythm, as leverage, then the dynamic interplay would produce a fresh, new and vibrant experience. This is our premise for the evening.

The “script’ will be created in workshop where there are no preconceptions, but rather a thesis countered by an antithesis resulting in a synthesis of the best of what is honestly discovered. The result — almost by definition — will be a completely new experience.


Dielectic 3


Some of the components could be the Beat poems:

Howl by Allen Ginsberg
I Am Waiting by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

and jazz compositions:

So What by Miles Davis
Cantaloupe Island by Herbie Hancock
Stolen Moments by Oliver Nelson
Come On In My Kitchen by Robert Johnson.

These provocative yet familiar elements should attract existing fans of these three arts. It's fresh and compelling “new” look should attract a new audience.