Speaking of electro-swing: check out this killer electro-swing dance routine by dancers Nikki and Bobby. There's everything I love in there: some house, some solo jazz, some lindy hop, and some popping, perfectly executed.
The now viral video from Montreal Swing Riot has gotten a lot of people excited about the potential for combining lindy hop with other street dances and more contemporary music. As a lindy hopper, b-boy and a house dancer, I'm always on the lookout for cool collaborations, competitions and performances that bring these different styles together.
Here are some other dance videos I like that show the potential for connecting lindy hop to other dance and music forms.
Harlem Hot Shots Versus Streets R Us
I got serious deja vu watching Montreal Swing Riot, reminded of another hip-hop vs lindy hop dance battle that was truly epic. In 2010, the world famous Harlem Hotshots of Sweden took on the Streets R Us crew for several rounds of competition. Check out this round that features a couple of Hotshots doing some popping and solo jazz to an electronic song.
There are several more, equally awesome rounds of battle that you can see here.
This video from the 2014 Montreal Swing Riot has been going viral, at nearly 50K views only a day after being published. It shows the invitational battle between some awesome lindy hoppers and a group of street dancers, including b-boys, krumpers, poppers, and lockers. You can see the mutual respect and admiration from all of the dancers as they share their skills and also find new ways to embody the music.
As someone who practices both lindy hop and other street dances, I'm so excited about this. It's hard to judge what part I like best. With due respect to all the dancers, I think the most successful fusion is the lockers dancing to swing jazz, starting at around the 5:15 mark. There's a joyfulness and a goofiness to the movement that aesthetically works perfectly for swing.
I would love to see some house dancers in there as well, since house borrows so heavily from jazz and tap.
I like the look of this video of Jeremy and I practicing a part of the "It Don't Mean a Thing" piece that we performed earlier this year. This was an ending to our piece that Jeremy and I were brainstorming and wanted to share with the rest of the crew.
The framing of the shot, the light, and the camera angle all look sweet. It was shot behind the bandstand at the music concourse in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
And we dance it pretty well, considering we just came up with this ending (which we ended up not using.)
This weekend I'm going to be in DC for my favorite dance event of the year, the International Lindy Hop Championships. I'm inviting you to watch along with me the live broadcast of this global dance competition that I'm helping to produce along with some friends.
Whether you know anything about lindy hop (swing dancing) or not, I think you'll enjoy the artistry, the dope moves, and the sheer joy that these dancers from around the world bring to the dance floor. I never fail to be entertained and inspired by what I witness.
And you can watch it all (or most of it) with me , starting on Friday at 8pm ET and ending late at night on Sunday at http://www.yehoodi.com/ILHC .
There are many divisions that might be confusing to you, but let me recommend a few that are favorites that I think you'll enjoy:
SHOWCASE: Friday, 10pm . This division is where you will see the most powerful displays of tricks, aerials, and drops by the best lindy hoppers in the land.
SOLO JAZZ / CHARLESTON: Friday, 12:55am. Lindy hop is not just a partner dance! See individuals throw down with their best jazz and charleston moves. B-boys, house dancers and free stylers might find some dope moves to steal for your next cypher.
CLASSIC (PRO): Saturday, 10pm. This division features couples performing some of the most entertaining, humorous and narrative pieces for the judges and the audience.
TEAMS DIVISION: Sunday, 3pm: Epic displays of ill dancing by groups of 5 or more dancers.
Of course, all the other divisions are fun to watch as well. We'll have expert commentators (and me) on hand to provide context and info for the viewers.
Feel free to ping me if you have questions in the chat or on Facebook. It would make my heart sing to know that my friends and family are watching along with me, after my team and I put so much hard work into the broadcast.
I've been chomping at the bit to share out these awesome screengrabs from our new animation open for the 2014 International Lindy Hop Championships this weekend. Manu, Jim and I conceived of this on the plane ride back from Frankie100 in April, and it's so awesome to see it finally getting to see the light of day.
The Venn diagram of geeky gamers and lindy hoppers is basically two overlapping circles. So it made sense to brand our 2014 ILHC video broadcast in classic 8-bit / 16-bit game fashion.
Sadly, we don't think that we'll be able to have "power-ups", energy bars, or "finishing moves" during the competitions. But if you are a gamer, we guarantee our animation open and on-screen graphics will make you smile.
Our awesome video open and other on-screen graphics is courtesy of our friend and incredibly talented video production wizard Paul Marino. Special thanks to our awesome lindy hop models Gilles Bouvier and Ellen Huffman, whose images and video we incorporated into our video assets!
Last night, I went with some friends to catch the opening weekend of the latest in the "Step Up" dance film franchise "Step Up: All In."
I've been a fan of this series since the first "Step Up" in 2006. I enjoyed "Step Up 2: The Streets," fanatically love "Step Up 3D" and was pretty entertained by "Step Up 4: Revolution." Yes, the acting is often terrible and the lines groan-worthy in these films. (No actor in the series has ever topped Channing Tatum in the first "Step Up" who ablely portrayed the underdog loser thug who was also a fantastic dancer.) But the sheer spectacle of the dancing is always impressive and inspiring for an amateur dancer like me.
I should say at the outset that my perspective on the films is colored by being a dancer (lindy hop, hip-hop and house, primarily), and a street dance fanatic. I follow the careers of my favorite b-boys and poppers the way that other people follow sports teams. I have spent more money than I care to think about on dance classes, workshops, camps, shows, and competitions around the world.
So I watch these films as both a fan and a practitioner of dance.
So let me break down my opinion on the Good, the Bad and the Worst parts of "Step Up: All In."
[WARNING: There are some things I write about that I guess are spoilers. Of course, the predictability of the plot is part of what "Step Up" fans enjoy, so nothing should be truly surprising.]
One of the highlights of the documentary "Planet B-Boy" is an incredible group performance by the legendary Japanese b-boy crew Ichigeki. I've watched that routine roughly 100 times. Finally, the routine has been put (legally) on YouTube. Watch it below, and I've got a few comments after:
There's so much that makes this outstanding as a performance:
The framing of the piece as a DJ spinning records, and the dancers as the music is so creative and clever. I can't think of a better way to show the connection between the b-boy and the beat.
The music selection includes lots of classic b-boy jams and more modern music, perfectly mixed.
The dancing is on-beat and precise in a way that few other crews at the time were able to achieve. Now it's more common to see and entire crew really synched up in their movement. But in 2005 most were not so clean.
More importantly, the dancing is emotional. There's a personal and an artistic quality to their movement. Watch starting at 3:30 and 5:08 for the best examples.
You can watch more about Ichigeki crew, particularly members Prince and Katsu, as well as profiles of several other amazing breaking crews from around the world in the documentary "Planet B-boy." Available streaming on Amazon and lots of other places.
Sadly, Ichigeki is reported to have disbanded shortly after this competition, but you can see individual members in other crews and individually still dancing.
Africa is an enormous and diverse continent. So it makes sense that there would be hundreds of different dance styles and sub-cultures. Here is one compilation of African dance forms demonstrated by "The Dance Hall" in Senegal.
Really wonderful seeing all these kinds of movement, so many of which were unknown to me. I'm a big fan of Pantsula from South Africa from seeing it in that Basement Jaxx video earlier this year. Other styles that made me want to see more: Bolo, Gweta, Jazzé, Ndem, and Zoropoto. (And "Q" made me laugh.)