A Tribute to Claude Thompson

“Everything he did was absolutely effortless,” says director Wilberto of modern jazz dancer Claude Thompson, whose rippling muscular grace earned him the nickname “Silk.” Thompson choreographed everyone from Elvis to Eartha Kitt; the generation he inspired channeled him in pieces for Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, and now this tribute show remembering LA’s godfather of jeté one year after his death. Ten choreographers have composed works highlighting Thompson’s athletic and narrative gifts, building towards a climatic medley that salutes his arrangements for The Color Purple, West Side Story, and the ‘68 Comeback Special. The goal, declares producer Anne Charmillot, “is to keep modern jazz alive.”

Originally published in the LA Times

Leave a Reply