Weekly Video Highlights: Lindyfest 2010 with Bonus Footage

I’ve discovered that one of the barometers to measure the quality of an event is to see how many videos, how high quality they are and how fast they’re posted after the event is over.  On all counts, Lindyfest from a few weeks ago wins.

It took a little while for me to sort through them all because they’re all really good.  There’s at least three videos of every performance and jam.   I recommend  going over to Jo Hoffberg’s blog where she posted the Houston Swing Dance Society’s own videos from the event.  They had a a few camera’s going and were able to pick up the performances from some cool angles.

In addition to Lindyfest and a few other events around the Houston area, HSDS was one of the primary sponsors of last year’s mega-event, Frankie Manning’s 95th Birthday Festival.  The entire community owes them a huge debt of gratitude for the sacrifices the organization and its members made in order to make that event happen.

Here’s a video of one of Frankie’s last public appearances at last year’s Lindyfest.  It’s amazing to see the energy he had even at that point.

Thanks to all these YouTube users for posting their videos.  Check them out for more of the good stuff:


Instructor Jam

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Frida=Awesome and Other Performance Observations

The reason why I like watching good dancing is because there’s so much room for interpretation of subtleties and details.  You can watch the same thing over and over again, but still see something new.  Bad dancing just just gives me a headache from the the static of unclear intentions.

My friend Ann Mony (who’s website is imminent according to my sources) pointed out an interesting tidbit at 2:00 in this recent performance by Frida Segerdahl and Skye Humphries at Lindyfest last weekend.   At 2:00 she waves for Skye to come over and join her.

Ann was drawing a parallel to this performance of Skye & Frida at the American Lindy Hop Championships in 2006 where Skye forgets the choreography at 2:40.  He starts to swingout when he shouldn’t and not only does Frida not follow him, but she signals him to come back and laughs it off.

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Weekly Video Review: Crazy Rhythm Challenge 2010

Those crazy French put on the Crazy Rhythm Challenge in Toulouse France  a couple of weekends ago.  Lot’s of good stuff posted by Teedee Hop.    You can find more videos over on their YouTube page here.

Alf & Eli

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Flashback with Ramona Staffeld: Minnie’s Moochers at the 1998 ALHC

This is the first of hopefully many installments of a special feature that I’m doing with Ramona Staffeld. We’re going to be looking at some very old school clips of her past performances and getting her reactions. Like a DVD director’s commentary except for Lindy Hop clips.  The first one is from the 1998 American Lindy Hop Championships.  Everything after the video below is written by her with a few hopefully helpful edits from me.   Enjoy!

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Weekly Video Highlights: Rock That Swing

Retro Video Review: Hop The Millennium

In a previous post I said that I’d put up a few clips from a tape of Hop the Millennium but then decided that the whole thing was too good and uploaded the whole thing.  The event took place over New Year’s 1999/2000 in Mexico City Ensenada, Mexico of all places.

There’s a lot of dancing goodness featuring the Rhythm Hot Shots which is the team that begat The Harlem Hot Shots.  Southern California represents with a piece by Rusty Frank & Peter Flahiff and another by Peter Loggins & Lisa Ferguson.  Keep an eye out for a pimpin performance by the father and son team of “Moke & Poke” a.k.a. Chazz Young and Frankie Manning.

Original footage courtesy of Andy Reid.

The Rhythm Hot Shots “Three Chefs”

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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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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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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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