and Dance Coordinator Jody Person
Does the Tango!
Windsor, N.J. - When MCCC Theatre and Dance Program Coordinator
Jody Person began contemplating the choreography he would
develop for the student production of "Rent" in
2010, he realized that a particular number, "The Tango
Maureen," would pose a challenge. Person, a dancer with
many styles on his resume, had no training in the tango, a
highly stylized form of Latin American dance.
Person's choreography for "Rent" turned out to be
the inspiration for a whole new form of self expression. Upon
taking his first tango class, he says, "I fell in love
with it." And, Person proved a natural at this dance
style with its complex footwork and graceful, precise movements
carried out with a partner.
Person quickly moved from amateur to confident professional,
performing at numerous venues this summer. In June, he performed
with partner Svetlana Keselman in Vaudeville at the Broadway
at the Broadway Theatre in Pitman, NJ. In July, he performed
with Keselman in a Pro-Showcase at Dancesport in New York
City. The partners also shared their talents with a community
audience at MCCC's very own Late Night Series.
In August, Person and partner Anton Gazenbeek won a Bronze
Medal in the 7th Annual New York Hustle Congress in the Pro-Open
Dance Competition, held at the New York Hotel. They also performed
at the 11th Annual New York City Tango Festival's Black and
White Ball with some tango legends including Jorge Torres,
Nelson and Madalyn Avila, and at the Esther Pugliese Benefit
Tango Concert at the Pierre Dulaine Dance Studio, also in
Associate Professor Jody Person dances the tango with Svetlana
Keselman in "Vaudeville at the Broadway" in Pittman,
NJ, in June.
is now bringing tango to his students at Mercer. "I have started
teaching introductory tango movements to my theater students. It's
a great tool for acting. Among the many benefits are improving posture
and coordination, and learning to give up control and trust your
partner. The most important benefit for student actors is that tango
teaches them how to connect with fellow actors on stage," Person
explains. He notes that he is also adding tango elements to his
modern dance classes, which inncorporate diverse styles.
view Person's medal winning performance in the Pro-Open Competition,
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