Isabelle Marquis is Secretary of La Maison du Duke and has collaborated on many jazz and popular music reissue labels, especially Masters of Jazz and Saga Jazz. She has also collaborated on several musicological and historical works and on four jazz exhibitions. Isabelle is passionate about dance and musicals and practice tap dance as an amateur. She studies the roots and history of vernacular jazz dance, gives lectures and collects all kind of documents (films, books, sheet music etc.). She is also a consultant for the programming of jazz films at the Cinémathèque de la Danse, and a member of the Académie du jazz.
At Ellington 2022, she will talk about Dance To The Duke and here is the abstract of her presentation.
“Jazz and dance were completely tied, at least until the end of World War II and Duke Ellington’s music deeply reflects this connection. As a matter of fact, dance intimately belongs to Duke Ellington’s world: from clubs (Cotton Club) to concert halls (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center), from ballrooms (Savoy, Apollo) to the opera, and even in cathedrals. The most iconic tunes from Ellington’s book like It Don’t Mean a Thing, Take the A Train, Caravan are still delighting nowadays lindy hoppers, tap dancers and all kinds of jazz dancers.
I have chosen to focus on dancing to Ellington’s music in the 20s and 30s by highlighting two artists: Bessie Dudley and Earl “Snakehips” Tucker. Two figures of the genre known as “Eccentric dance”, which still today irrigates urban street dances.”