Weekly Video Highlights: Goodnight Sweetheart Festival 2010

Last week we had videos from Korea, and now we’re across he pond the other way from Hertford, England.  This week’s videos brought to you by the 2010 Goodnight Sweetheart Festival.

I already talked about one performance from that weekend, so I thought I’d highlight a few others from that event.

Shesha Marvin

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Know Your Jazz Dancer: Marie Bryant

Sometimes it takes me a little while to piece things together.  A few months ago I attended a presentation of jazz film clips.  One of them was Jammin’ the Blues featuring an all star list of musicians such as Sid Catlett, Jo Jones, Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet and a host of others.  I hadn’t seen the whole thing in such a long time that it wasn’t until that night that I realized that I knew who the vocalist and dancer was.

This was the same reaction I had when I was doing research for my Four Step Brothers post a few months ago.  I spotted this same woman in a clip with the aforementioned group dancing along with Harold Nicholas in this scene from the film Carolina Blues.

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Australia Routine Interestingness

This is from Mikey Pedroza who seems really intent on doing this on every continent.  It’s a routine originally choreographed by Mike Faltesek.

A couple of minor things that caught my eye.  I like the way Rikard Ekstrand recovers from his slip at 0:31. He’s also dancing with a woman listed as Ulrika Ericsson, who I think is an old school Rhythm Hot Shot, the forerunner to the Harlem Hot Shots.

Andy Reid loaned me all of his old VHS tapes and I watched a tape from Hop the Millenium which was an event in Mexico City over New Year’s 1999-2000.   The Rhythm Hot Shots put on a floor show and they were pretty f’n good even by today’s standards.  The Hot Shots in its various incarnations have been a part of this scene since the begining, but it feels like there was a chunk of time around then when they were overlooked here in the US.

Also on that tape is a performance by Rusty Frank and Peter Flahiff from Southern California.  They do a tap dance to a newer version of 24 robbers, but its not Fats Waller.  It sounds really good, but I’m having a little trouble tracking it down.

Anyway, I’m going to try to get all of these videos online when I can.

Weekly Video Highlights Camp Swing It

South Korea  has got a prety big scene with several large scale events thoughout the year.  The first one this year was Camp Swing It which happned a few weeks ago, Jan 22-24.  Lots of great teachers and top notch performances.

Among them were Sharon Davis and Jo Hoffberg who have each blogged about their experiences and posted more videos in addition to the ones below.  Check them out here and here.

The Hot Club

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Random DCenes: Triggers

Metro Center. February 13, 2010 at about 6:00 pm.

I saw a woman on the metro platform stretching out her hip in the same way a friend of mine does.  My friend actually just had surgery on it, so I briefly wondered if the older woman in front of me had the same kind of problem.

She was with her family; her husband or significant other and their teenage daughter.  A homeless man came by offering people some pitiful looking short branches that looked like he just plucked them off of a snow covered bush from outside.  The gentleman in the family took one and the mother took another.  I didn’t see if they offered anything in return, but I did catch them later trying to adorn their daughter with them.  She had pigtails, but from her stance and her age, you could tell she was wearing them to be ironic in a budding hipster kind of way.  She was not interested in the shrubbery.

I followed them into an Orange line train where they sat behind two young women.  They were about college age.  I stared a little bit longer than I should have because one of them reminded me of a woman I see at dances around town from time to time.  After deciding that it wasn’t her,  I turned my gaze away and onto a woman standing by the door opposite me.

For a moment I thought I was looking at a woman I knew in high school who I had just friended on Facebook not too long ago.  I sat in front of Dervilla for four years in various honors classes.  Class valedictorian and Homecoming Queen.  Neither assertive nor meek, but incredibly pleasant to talk to even during stressful exam weeks.  She was one of those girls that was almost too perfect to have a crush on.  Did I mention that she was a redhead?

This new woman on the metro had light brown hair and was 10 years too young to be Derv.  She didn’t notice my lingering gaze because she was distracted by the antics of the two college girls.  I turned to get a faceful of flash from the large camera one of them was now using.  They giggled as they started to take what were probably meant to be artsy pictures of each other.

I turned back to the direction of not-Dervilla.  She was smiling as if caught up in a memory of her own.  I followed her gaze as we pulled out of another stop.  One of the college girls took over a vacated seat in front of the other so they had more room to pose and take pics.  Flashes came at a steady pace, and I had to turn away before they caught my disapproving eyebrow in one of their pictures.

The light brown haired woman that reminded me of high school was still smiling, but her eyes were doing something different.  They were straining.  She was still remembering something, but it wasn’t hard to see that it was not a completely happy thought.

Another stop passed and it became apparent that she was trying very hard keep herself composed.  I tried to look elsewhere, but my gaze kept coming back to her.  She didn’t notice.  She was lost in something that was obviously painful, but there was something about it that still caused a smile to break through her now quivering lips.

I felt guilty for witnessing this very intense and personal moment.  I thought about saying something; maybe even offering the packet of tissues in my pocket.  She wasn’t crying, but she was getting very close.

Then I thought better of approaching her in the same way you would think twice about jumping into the middle of a tense game of Jenga; not wanting to be the one to upset the tenuous balance in front of me.  I wanted to respect her effort to keep it together, but it didn’t look like that was going to last much longer.

The flash bulb from the camera kept going off as she eventually turned to face the door.  She was intent on getting out at the next stop.  I hoped that it was the one she wanted.  I could still see the reflection of her face in the window.  She needed to get out even if it wasn’t.

Finally the doors opened and let her go.

Then and Now: Skye Humphries

Staying home most of last week due to the two biggest snowstorms in recent history here in DC, you would think I would have gotten more writing done than I did.  Instead I ended up passing the time by ripping a bunch of VHS tapes to digital videos.  Last count, I had about 200 clips ripped, but my internet connection isn’t that fast, so it’ll take me some time before I get them all online.

It’s been fun going down memory lane with these videos though.  Over on the last post for “Artistry in Rhythm,” I’ve gotten a couple of comments from Julius whose been talking about the element of joy that seems to be missing in many dancers coming up these days.  It’s hard to talk about something like that, but fortunately I’ve dug up some clips that I think illustrate his point.

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The Legend of Minnie’s Moochers

As I’ve noted in my Artistry in Rhythm series, we’re getting to a point where things that happened in the early part of the revival are starting to feel a little bit like ancient history.  Minnie’s Moochers is a big part of that as I outlined in part three of that series.

Andy Reid described his experiences with the team in a post on the Jam Cellar blog.

When I was 22, I was asked to join a dance group full of teenagers.  They were the best dancers in town and I enjoyed their company.  They inspired me and shaped my dancing and we all grew together.  What was happening in this group was really something special and unique and I jumped in head first.  We spend several days of every week in the gym in a creative frenzy and it was one of the greatest times of my life. Minnie’s Moochers was, and is, Kate Engle, Lucy Engle, Caitlin George Wellman, Susan Wolff, Sylvie Ynetma, Jenna Hallas, Simnia Singer Sayada, Ramona Staffeld, Sarah Spence, Mark Eckstein, Robin Coleman, Skye Humphries, Finian Makepeace, Ben Furnas, and I.

Skye Humphries told a little bit about their background in one of his posts here on this blog.

We went to a school called ACS (the Alternative Community School) [where] we were encouraged to pursue our own interests and develop our own ways of learning.  We started teaching a class at our school almost immediately and brought our friends into the dance.  Our school gave us space and time to practice, and allowed us to shape our curriculum to reflect our interest in the dance.

History, sociology, politics, media- our teachers were very encouraging and allowed us to find the connection between dancing and the rest of our studies.

There was an amazing community of dancers in Ithaca who created a great atmosphere and ran great dances.  We started going out and dancing socially all the time.  ISDN (Ithaca Swing Dance Network) also put on great workshops with the top international dancers and teachers, and they were always supportive of us kids.

My friends and I went out together dancing, and then Bill started a little performance group and we started doing gigs around town.

Soon we started running and directing our own group, and started performing, competing, and eventually teaching on our own.

The definitive history of this group is yet to be written, but I did the next best thing and assembled all the available online footage of the team here so you can get a taste of what they were about.

American Lindy Hop Championships 1998

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ILHC 2010 Registration is open and other notes

For those of you who haven’t been checking the website every day, registration is now open for the International Lindy Hop Championships happening on August 19-22, 2010.  It’ll be August there’s so no chance of being snowed out at least.

Register now to get the cheapest registration price possible.  It’s just going to get more expensive as the days past, so you might as well get it out of the way now.

Also, get the latest updates through our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter at ILHCtweets.

A few other blog related notes:

Sorry about the lack of updates lately, but the impending Snowstorm of the Century II will hopefully help me out in giving me more time to finish off a few posts for your consumption.

Hopefully that will include the last few parts of “Artistry in Rhythm.”  Posting everything before was easier because all of it was written over two years ago and I just updated and edited as I went along.  I’m basically starting from scratch with the next few posts, and its reminding me why the paper was so much work the first time around.

In the meantime, be sure to check out “The Lindy Loggers” post as I’ll be updating it with new Lindy related blogs as I find them.  I’ve even added it as a link to the right just for you.

I’m also finishing up an interview that I’m doing for the DC Lindy Exchange website.  Keep an eye on the DCLX website for it.  I’ve had a long association with the event going back to it’s beginning, and I’ll be dj’ing there once again this April.  I hope to see everyone there.

Lone Star Championships 2010-Jack & Jill videos & official results and scores

Official results and complete scores for all divisions are now available online for the 3rd annual Lone Star Championships which occurred January 15th-17th, 2010 in Austin, TX.

Plus more videos below from this year’s Jack & Jill competitions.

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