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Jump Rhythm Jazz Project Takes Electric Approach To Dance

Popular Chicago dance company celebrates its Northwestern roots in two June performances

  • Dance ensemble’s latest production a tribute to its Northwestern University ties
  • Emmy Award-winning artistic director Billy Siegenfeld to premiere new work
  • Jump Rhythm dancers use their bodies and voices to bring human stories to life
  • New show toasts faculty and students who help shape dance theatre at Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jump Rhythm Jazz Project (JRJP) returns to the Evanston campus with its exuberantly energy-driven approach to dance theater to celebrate its Northwestern University roots in two evening mid-June performances. 

The Emmy Award-winning Jump Rhythm Jazz Project will take over one of the theaters at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts in the ensemble’s new production “Jump Rhythm: Getting Down, Going Forward,” a tribute to the wonderfully symbiotic relationship the Chicago-based company has with Northwestern University’s theatre and dance communities.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, June 12 and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 13, in the Josephine Louis Theater, 20 Arts Circle Drive.

Curated by Billy Siegenfeld, JRJP artistic director and Northwestern faculty member, “Jump Rhythm: Getting Down, Going Forward” features several new works from JRJP company members Brandi Coleman (a Northwestern School of Communication adjunct faculty member), Kevin Durnbaugh (a Northwestern alumnus) and a premiere from Siegenfeld, as well as three Northwestern students -- Hillary Aarons, Aric Barrow and Kat Scott -- all 2015 graduating seniors, whose work is influenced by Jump Rhythm’s uniquely rhythmic-dynamic, populist approach to dance theatre.

Using their bodies and voices to bring human stories to life with powerful energy and honest emotion, this joyous concert looks forward to Jump Rhythm Jazz Project’s future collaborations with the next generations of choreographers, dancers and audiences.

“Northwestern and JRJP go hand in hand like the best dance pairs,” Siegenfeld says. “Sharing energy is at the heart of our work and both the (School of Communication’s) dance program and the department of theatre have given us loving and vibrant opportunities to teach, explore and create using Jump Rhythm® Technique. It’s an honor and a joy to celebrate the faculty and students who help shape the dance and theatre-movement environments here at Northwestern.” 

Tickets are $25 for general public; $22 for seniors over 62 and Northwestern faculty and staff and educators; and $10 for full-time students with valid IDs (at the door) or $5 tickets exclusively for full-time Northwestern students on advance purchase. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

For more information, phone 847-491-4819, visit the Wirtz Center website at or email

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