Jazz Club! is not only revolutionising the way that audiences interact with dance but the way that dancers’ express issues that directly impact our society.
Founder and artistic director of Jazz Club!, Jonathan Brian Homsey, created this inclusive community as a universal space for Urban, Jazz and Contemporary dancers to express themselves through a fluidity of styles.
“I can see from the dancers [in Jazz Club!] that I am not the only one that needs this arena which is somewhere both and neither contemporary or street,” he says.
Before now, there has been no singular dance community that uses movement to tackle serious societal issues on a digital scale.
Each video produced explores a different theme which directly reflects the state of our current society.
“The themes of multiculturalism, feminism, and gender equality are topics saturated in our culture, debate and politics currently,” Jonathan says.
“Jazz Club provides a platform to express [the dancers] thoughts in a safe and entertaining way.”
With a strong focus on conceptual themes, Jonathan intends to bring life to the voices of his commercial dance peers who’s medium isn’t necessarily conceptual art.
After a creating a concept video with Courtney Hale, a dear friend of his, they discussed the thought of helping the world through little videos like a Jazz Club.
Thus, the idea to record the art of dance through virtual reality was born.
With changing modes of viewership, Jonathan decided to create a virtual viewing experience inspired by his upbringing in Hip Hop dance crews in the United States.
“I can say with confidence that the ‘crew’ scene has changed since I was a young dancer in San Diego,” he says.
“Fast forward to 13 years later and the crew scene is different.”
“People can view crews online and the main medium is film, not the community showcases I was raised on,” Jonathan explains.
This new immersive platform acts as a different realm for viewing potential as audiences begin to drift from traditional modes of interaction.
‘The crew scene is shifting and the digital realm is how people are meeting up are changing!” he exclaims.
“Thus, the model of how we work needs to change.”
“The ‘OG’ crew format will always stay but there needs to be models that work around digital engagement,” he says.
The first videos of the series were released on the 26th of February which showcase the Jazz Club communities of Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
Each 360-degree video released thus far focuses on the exploration of female empowerment through a different perspective and choreographer—using unique and quirky styling and choreography.
“At Jazz Club! we want to feature as many facets of the community as possible and I believe the choreographers reflect that,” he says.
In an effort to help the world, Jonathan and Jazz Club have been promoting the organisation ‘Move the World’ and have been encouraging their audience to donate so that dancers in Ghana can build their own clubhouse.
Over time, Jonathan would love to see Jazz Club! in every major city.
“Anyone can have a Jazz Club!, all you need is a camera, friends and a love for dance and helping people,” he says.
“It does not matter what level or how many dancers.”
We can’t wait to see what series of video’s are next!
Head over to Jazz Club’s Facebook to watch their 360 degree videos!