What happened in vernacular jazz dance in 2013? This is a brief summary of things that happened in and to vernacular jazz dance this year.
I feel like I’m a broken record in saying how many great videos and performances there were this year. It’s part of the reason why I broke up the video selections like I did. I would have had no problem sharing all the other videos, but that would have been a long frickin’ post. (Not that I usually have a problem with that) I really enjoyed all the videos that have been posted so far, but I reserved this post to highlight stuff that somehow fell through the cracks for whatever reason. A lot of them are from earlier this year, and just didn’t meet the metric standards of the earlier posts based on this blog's Facebook Page simply because of sheer numbers. However, it’s still all quality stuff.
A bit of a misnomer since most of these are done in groups, but I trust that you get the idea. You can tell I’ve been doing these all at once because my descriptions are getting shorter, but at least a lot of these performances speak for themselves.
A couple of months ago I posted about Kelly Porter's oral history archive called Jazz Era Voices, and today I got word via Facebook that it is now live. As far as the Lindy Hop community is concerned, I think this is one of the most important projects out there along with The Lindy Hoppers Fund.
I saw a rough cut of the film at the Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday Festival a few weeks ago. The amount video footage this guy has put together is astounding. It seems as though that he got his hands on almost every bit of American vernacular jazz dance inspired footage in the past 100 years, of which Lindy hop is a significant part. He’s used that to create a tangible link to pretty much any and every popular dance seen today.
I find this particularly apropos since there’s been some hand wringing about the amount of Charleston used in social Lindy Hop as if those dances emerged separately from each other and the mixing of the two is somehow detrimental to the dance or to dancers in general. Note that this is not about the playing of 2-beat music which is a related, but separate topic.