Housekeeping: ILHC Posts

Just a quick note that I’ve updated the previous ILHC 2009 posts with videos or links to videos, including my current favorite footage of Skye & Frida’s Classic Division routine.

I have some time since I got sick during the weekend, so the good news for you is that I’ll be able to finish posting my observations from the event in the next day or two.

Official results for ILHC 2009 will be posted online on the ILHC website hopefully within the next week as the staff makes their way home and catches up on the rest of their lives.   I’ll post an update when that happens.

Dates and a brand new hotel for ILHC 2010 have been locked in, so stay tuned for that information as well.

AIR pt. 8: Competition Concerns

I see a lot of people checking the blog in the wake of ILHC this past weekend.  I’m still in the process of recovering myself, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to post the next part of  my already completed paper entitled “Artistry In Rhythm: Dialogue Through Dance in the Lindy Hop community.”   I think it’s very apropos since it digs into the state of Lindy competitions earlier this decade.  Previous and future posts can be found by searching my blog for the category “Artistry In Rhythm” ILHC coverage will continue later this week.

“[I]t is obvious that artists reflect their times and backgrounds and their art works are oftentimes more eloquent than any politician’s speech or sociological study.”[1] Marco Pignataro

Also at the ALHC 2000, Ben Furnas and Lucy Dunne performed one of the competition’s most infamous routines where they lampooned the general state of competitions in both the Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing worlds.

They start out by dancing to Eva Cassidy’s version of “Wade In The Water,” which by 2000 was already hopelessly overplayed in both dance communities.  They move with dead pan expressions on their faces as they exaggeratedly accentuate the numerous musical breaks that make the song so popular.  Before long, they stop the music with one of the more cliché competition tropes: the abrupt costume change from flashy to more flashy.  Clad in sparkly sequined clothes and a change in facial expressions, the song shifts to “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” before their performance is interrupted by a disembodied voice admonishing them for their insufficient “Lindy Content.”  They cheerfully ignore it and continue their skewering of the WCS competition style until the voice stops them again, this time threatening them with disqualification.  Feigning concern, they break into a Lindy Hop routine to “Mildred, Why Don’t You Behave” by the Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra, and proceed to go through all the Lindy Hop competition clichés complete with endless spins, swivels all around, and a generous helping of rock steps.

Although they got a huge reaction from the crowd, future competitors missed the joke.  As it turned out, the routine was as much a parody as it was a harbinger of things to come.

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