Swingtime “Never Gonna Dance” and other notes

Believe it or not I have a lot to say about stuff, but not a whole lot of time to devote to assemble anything coherent.  ULHS is happening this weekend under the new moniker “The New Orleans Swing Dance Festival & The Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown”  Hopefully I can talk about that next week, but I haven’t had time to get all my thoughts about ILHC yet.  We’ll see how it goes.  For those of you not going to New Orleans this weekend, the Saturday night festivities will be webcast live again this year.

By the way, if you’re in the DC area, I’ll be helping out with The Jam Cellar’s dance at Glen Echo with the Brooks Teglar Big Band.

In the meantime I’ll leave you with a discovery I made a few weeks ago.  As you’ll recall, I did a short post about my favorite Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, Swingtime.  Unfortunately the Youtubes took down my favorite dance scene from it.  However, I was inspired to widened my search and discovered it here.

I like to call this dance the “Empire Strikes Back” of dances because its the darkest one with no happy ending.  Not immediately at least.

The movie is a pretty light hearted boy meets girl sort of deal, and proceeds to ‘eff it up.  Repeatedly.  Right before this scene, Fred loses Ginger in pretty decisive fashion as she’s set to marry another man and he to another woman.

If you haven’t seen it, I recommend watching the whole movie because the dialogue right before they get into the dance is incredibly poignant especially considering the lighter tone of the rest of the movie.

Ginger:  Does she dance very beautifully? The woman you love?

Fred: Who?

Ginger: The girl you’re in love with.

Fred:  Yes. Very.

Ginger:  The girl you’re engaged to; The girl you’re going to marry.

Fred: Oh I don’t know.  I’ve danced with you.  I’m never going to dance again.

Then he starts singing “Never Gonna Dance” which is a pretty song, but I especially love the way he sings the last part of this verse.

Though, I’m left without a penny
The wolf was discreet
He left me my feet
And so, I put them down on anything
But the la belle
La perfectly swell romance

The above YouTube version doesn’t do it justice since the movie version is much more dramatic to set the mood for the pathos laden dance that follows.  If you watch the other videos from the previous Swingtime post, you’ll notice call backs to each song and dance performed before it. You’ll also see that there is exactly one cut in the whole scene.  Apparently they did the last part over 40 times just t get it right causing Ginger’s feet to literally bleed.

And with that, have a Happy Friday!

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