Billy Siegenfeld

 “What Do You Want To Be When You Give Up?”, Billy’s most recent one-act play has had successful 2019 premieres in New York City at the Mark O’Donnell Theater, in London at the Bathway Theatre, and in Providence at Rhode Island College. As Artistic Director/Founder, Jump Rhythm®, a performing and teaching company he founded in 1990, Billy has had his body of theatrical choreographic work performed all over the world. He was awarded an Emmy Award for original choreography featured in the HMS-Media-produced documentary, Jump Rhythm® Jazz Project: Getting There. His most recent essay, DEMOCRACY’S ENERGY: How the African-American gift to the world called swinging a beat beats back despair; says letting go is better than holding on; warns democracy can only work when you practice it on yourself; and, along the way, relieves lower-back pain will appear in a forthcoming book about Jump Rhythm® titled Democracy’s Energy: Getting Down to Go Forward.

Billy, a former jazz and rock drummer, holds an undergraduate degree in literature from Brown University and a graduate degree in writing (about jazz music and dance) from New York University’s Gallatin Division. He has performed with the Don Redlich Dance Company (NYC); taught theatre-movement at Hunter College; performed as actor, singer, and/or dancer in off-off-Broadway plays and musicals including the Broadway production of Singin’ in the Rain. He studied Meisner-based acting with Tim Philips and unmannered voice production with Joan Kobin.

Teaching

As a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University Billy teaches a variety of communally engaged-in, rhythmically vocalized courses in acting, dancing, and singing in classes open to all students no matter their discipline. Over the trajectory of his teaching and performing career, Billy created two original pedagogical concepts – Standing Down Straight®: an injury-preventive, “less is more” approach to mind-body integration using gravity-directed release as the source of postural and motional health; and, Jump Rhythm®: a community-directed system of body-voice training guided by the African-originated concept of full-bodied rhythm-making called ngoma (“drumming and rhythmic song-dancing”).

Billy’s Publications

Standing Down Straight®

If you’ve been taught that to be strong, confident, or beautiful is by “standing up straight,” Jump Rhythm® Technique will be a shock.

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Performing Energy

“Not a bad thing, independence, which is what hooked many of us on art in the first place.”

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Jump Rhythm® Technique

Six Action-Ideas

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