- DANCERS TEACHERS + CHOREOGRAPHERS
is sometimes referred to as "father jazz" since
he is credited with creating the first formal jazz technique.
There are numerous articles about Luigi and at least
a couple of amateur films.
it's several decades "old" and is such a foundational
technique, and since there aren't many
qualified teachers it's not as popular today. The strength
of the technique is that it imparts the most solid fundamentals
from which you can do anything.
(Louis Facciuto) was a young professional dancer when he moved
to California to further his career. A serious car accident
left one side of him paralyzed and with very bad eyesight (double
vision). Doctors said he wouldn't recover, but in typical 'hollywood
hero' fashion, he was determined to dance again. When he was
well enough, he went back to the studio and began doing work
at the bar. He got to where he could do ok, but when he tried
to dance again on the floor, his disabilities robbed him of
balance and coordination. Then it struck him: "If I can't
dance without the bar, I'll take it with me!" He was able
to keep himself upright and poised by pushing down on an imaginary
bar! Thus, "pushing down to go up", pushing down with
your arms on the space around you, lifting up from the crown
of your head is an underlying paradigm of the Luigi technique
(and so much dance in general). When you releve', you aren't
simply using your calves, you are lifting up from your head
and pushing down on the space, pushing on the "bar".
the biggest component of the Luigi paradigm is "opposition".
This where you are using one side of your body to control the
"extension" of the opposite side. You "pull away
left to reach right" for example. It
harmonizes dance movement with natural body tendencies (e.g.
walking: left foot front coincides with right arm front) and
allowed Luigi to overcome his disabilities. This concept also
places the body in optimum position
for transitions and movement across the floor. And one must
always keep moving. Luigi would stumble and fall if he tried
to hold a position. So, internally, he was constantly reaching
up with his head, pushing down,
reaching out, clenching muscles.
available all year STYLE
CLASS (All Levels): 1 1 : 0 0 am Monday - Saturday
CLASS : 1 : 0 0 pm Monday Saturday TECHNIQUE
CLASS (All Levels): 7 : 0 0 pm Monday
CLASS (All Levels) : 7 : 0 0 pm Tuesday - Friday
taught by Luigi & Francis J. Roach
class $12 Class card $90/10 3 month expiration
Jazz warm-up" book, the exercise video "Luigi The
Master Style Class" and newest music for class on CD,
are available from Luigis Jazz Center and publisher
Princeton Book Co/Dance Horizons.
historians have defined Luigis style as classic jazz,
elegant, sophisticated, and even liquid fire. Writers have
labeled him, An Ambassador of Jazz, A Pioneer, The Teachers
Teacher, A Body Doctor and mostly, The Innovator. The exercise
routine he created for his own rehabilitation after a paralyzing
accident became the worlds first complete technique
for learning jazz dance. He got the professional nickname
"Luigi" from Gene Kelly.Born
Eugene Louis Faccuito in Steubenville, Ohio, Luigi grew
up singing and dancing professionally throughout Americas
heartland. After serving in WWII, he moved to Hollywood
to pick up his young career. Soon tragedy struck in a near
fatal car accident. Doctors held little hope he would recover
from a basal skull fracture, deep coma and paralysis down
one side of his body. Yet within that coma, an inner voice
told him repeatedly, "Never stop moving, if you stop
youre dead." He eventually awoke to be told he
would never walk again. His spirit said, "Im
going to dance."
himself, Luigi started creating stretching exercises that helped
him discover what had to be done to control the body. He learned
to "put the body in the right position." To "feel
from the inside out." After a long year of trail and error,
he regained enough strength and equilibrium to start dance classes
again at Falcon Studios in Hollywood.
a year later, Luigi, seen by a talent scout, was asked to
audition for MGMs "On the Town," starring
Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. He got the job and started an
8 year chorus career in over 40 films, such as: "An
American in Paris," "Annie Get Your
Gun," "Singin in the Rain," "The
Band Wagon," and "White Christmas."
Choreographers Gene Kelly and Robert Alton became his mentors.
They and others put him to work with: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse,
Doris Day, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Mickey Rooney, Donald
OConnor, and Danny Kaye, among others.
the long waiting periods on film sets, Luigi did his own exercises
to make sure his body remained limber and would not ruin a
"take." Soon dancers were following him, 10 or 20
at a time. Robert Alton told him
got a great style you should teach it," so Luigi
teaching a "jazz class" in 1951. He liked to teach
while working in film, live theater, and in TV variety shows
such as: "The Colgate Comedy Hour," and "The
Red Skelton Show." He never stopped moving.
1956, Luigi was brought to NYC to perform in the Broadway
show "Happy Hunting" with Ethel Merman and Fernando
Lamas. He danced and assisted choreographers on three more
Broadway shows before dedicating himself to sharing his method.
He opened "The First World Jazz Center."
good teacher knows how to prevent injuries and can help anyone
with injuries get better," Luigi says. He stresses the
importance of using the body properly, telling students to
"Take your time - feel what youre doing."
His approach to the body is simple genius. Luigi says, "If
you keep doing things right long enough, theyll get
better right. But, if you keep doing things wrong long enough,
theyll feel right -- wrong."
world has recognized Luigis artistry by inviting him
to give master classes throughout North and South America,
England, France, Hungary, Italy, South Africa and Japan. He
has served on the faculty for the Harkness Ballet School,
High School for the Performing Arts, Sarah Lawrence College,
NYU, Metropolitan Opera House and Joffrey Ballet School. Luigis
talents and perseverance have given him the opportunity to
work in every part of show business, from burlesque to Hollywood
musicals, Broadway and beyond. His method is taught today
by not only himself, but by his students in schools and colleges
all over the world.
J. ROACH has danced in TV and Broadway specials, choreographed
MTV videos, Off-Broadway, national commercials, industrials, and
fashion shows. Hes appeared with Liza Minnelli, Shirley
MacLaine, Gene Kelly, the Pointer Sisters & choreographed
a magazine layout for Charlotte DAmboise. Roach travels
the world teaching the Luigi Jazz Technique. In addition, he teaches
at the Joffrey Ballet School, the West Side "Y," and
has been faculty for the International Ballet Competition in Jackson,
MS. Not only has he starred in his own concert tour in Japan,
but has been invited back over 10 times to teach and choreograph.
Roach co-authored with Luigi and Lorraine Person Kriegel the book,
"Luigis Jazz warm-up.
TO MY JAZZ CLASS
Minnelli "I found Luigi to be
an invaluable teacher and his technique has stayed with me."
Morse "Luigi is stylish, graceful, aristocratic, permanent,
visionary and so very kind to us all who are beginners daily."
Tharp "Ive never had more
fun than dancing in Luigis classes."
Travolta "Luigi always defined jazz dancing for
Luft "Luigi is the father of modern jazz and
a wonderful teacher. His technique is fluid and beautiful and
a joy to dance."
Fosse "A Luigi trained
dancer is always dedicated and well trained."
DAmboise "A love and knowledge of the discipline
of classical ballet permeates Luigis jazz style and
- Loni Ackerman
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Lappe - Johnny Mathis - Patricia McBride - Bette Midler
- Donna McKechnie - Molly Molloy - Michelle Pawk - Ann Reinking
- Tony Roberts - Barbra Streisand - Susan Stroman - Christopher
Walken - Chet Walker - Leslie Ann Warren - Eva Von Gencsy
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