Jenai Cutcher West dances, writes about dance, and makes dance movies. In addition to her own choreography, she has performed in works by Brenda Bufalino, John Giffin, Savion Glover, and Gregory Hines. Her feature-length documentary, Thinking On Their Feet: Women of the Tap Renaissance, has screened at film festivals nationwide and is available on DVD. She is also the author of three children's books about dance. Jenai has a BA in English and MFA in Dance, both from The Ohio State University. She currently resides in New Haven, CT.Review:
Book, gig to recall gathering of talent by Nancy Gilson The Columbus Dispatch
If it was not a golden age of contemporary dance, it was certainly a golden moment in central Ohio.
From the late 1970s to the early 90s, choreographers and performers made Columbus a destination for modern dance.
Vickie Blaine, John Giffin, Susan Hadley, David Krohn, Stuart Pimsler, Susan Van Pelt and choreographer and dancer Maggie Patton were bright stars who created and presented new works.
For whatever reason, a whole bunch of artists converged in Columbus and brought in all these experiences and performances, dancer Jenai Cutcher West said.
To celebrate the era and to pay tribute to Patton, who died on June 8 of cancer a new book will be released and a performance will take place on Wednesday [May 2, 2012] in the Columbus Performing Arts Center.
Columbus Moves: A Brief History of Contemporary Dance was written by West, who made the 2009 documentary Thinking on Their Feet, about female tap-dancers.
Columbus Moves chronicles modern-dance activity in central Ohio particularly from the 1970s to the 90s. West will perform at the Wednesday event along with other central Ohioans, some of whom will come out of retirement to dance.
The program will include performances or appearances by Giffin, Hadley, Krohn, Jeanine Thompson and Susan Van Pelt Petry. All were active and influential in the dance community during the years documented in the book.
Also on the program: Boot Camp Heel Talk Revisited, a duet by Karen Bell and Vera Blaine, former dance professors at Ohio State University; and You Can't Dress Me Up but You Can Take Me Anywhere, with Kristina Isabelle re-creating a Patton solo, performed to Claude Bolling's Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano; and a West solo inspired by the Columbus dance community.
West was just a child when the modern-dance era was in bloom in central Ohio, but she said she has felt its legacy and effect. Throughout her research, she said, The term golden era was used a lot.
Maggie Patton was sort of the catalyst of it all, said West, 34. Dancentral seems to have been the first contemporary company in Columbus, and, for a while, she was kind of a lone wolf. But other companies and dancers followed: Moving Arts, Stuart Pimsler, Susan Van Pelt's company.
There was so much activity and that does not even take into account what BalletMet and the folk companies were doing.
Isabelle remembers watching modern-dance troupes, especially Dancentral, as a high-school student.
That's how I knew I wanted to be a dancer, said the choreographer and performer, whose HighJinks dance company often employs the type of whimsy and humor for which Patton was known.
There was a lot of activity going on back then, Isabelle said. It's an interesting cycle. In the last few years, I think there s been another generation coming on and pushing dance.
Bell called the 1970s and 80s a golden moment and agreed with Isabelle that Another may be on its way.
For now, she said, It's terrific to have something written about the early contemporary dance years in Columbus and to have a tribute to Maggie Patton.
She would have been the first one performing on this program. --The Columbus Dispatch
Preview: Legends and Legacies: Columbus Dances by Jay Weitz Columbus Alive Tap dancer and Thinking on Their Feet filmmaker Jenai Cutcher West brings her new book, Columbus Moves: A Brief History of Contemporary Dance, to its namesake city on May 2. In celebration, choreographer Kristina Isabelle, the author, and a galaxy of Central Ohio dance luminaries present Legends and Legacies: Columbus Dances, featuring a reconstruction of a solo by Maggie Patton.
The evanescent art of dance passes from person to person in rehearsals, classes, techniques, and concerts, West said, but dancers rarely have an opportunity to get a comprehensive sense of the body of work that precedes them, especially on the local level.
In time for the city's bicentennial, the book is a tribute to the past and those who created it, as well as an addition to the current conversation surrounding dance-making in Columbus, West said.
The book, a panel discussion, and the Legends and Legacies performance together aim to inspire our future. --Columbus Alive
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Self-published. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Bookseller Inventory # G0615633889I3N00
Book Description Self-published, 2012. Book Condition: Good. 1st. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP92104795
Book Description Self-published, 2012. Book Condition: As New. 1st. Book in almost Brand New condition. Bookseller Inventory # GRP93717869