Believe it or not, Episode #69 is the final show of the season... and the last weekly edition of “SwingNation.”
Watch the whole episode to get the skinny on what’s happening to the internet’s only regular talk show on swing dancing. We talk about why we are moving from the weekly format, and what’s the future of “SwingNation.” And we do a fond recap of our favorite episodes from our 68 show run. What were your favorite shows?
We close out the show with thanks to all of those who played a part in making “SwingNation” what it is. Thanks for watching... and keep swingin out!
I can't get enough of this lindy hop / vernacular jazz routine by the troupe Echoes of Harlem from Australia. I love all their formations, creative choreography, and phrasing. Rarely do you see a team routine accentuate different instruments with different dancers so well.
Damn, Australia! Go on with your bad self.
From the 2014 Melbourne Lindy Exchange. SONG: 'Now You Has Jazz' - Louis Armstrong and the All stars live at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Koharu Suguwara came across my feed last week, and I've watched all the videos of her that I can since then. I haven't found much intel, other than she's a Japanese dancer and choreographer who has been featured at the prestigious Urban Dance Camp for the past couple of years. Anyone know anything else about her?
What strikes me strongest is how emotional and passionate her dancing is. (She even dances to "Emotion" by Mariah Carey in another great piece.) She uses her facial expressions and body to convey feelings in such a raw and authentic way, while also just killing whatever choreo she is doing. That's a really powerful combination.
There's also something reminiscent of another pair of street dance stars Keone and Mari. Her use of tempo changes, hand expressions, and joyful movement echoes that amazing pair. It's interesting to compare them by watching Keone and Mari perform some of Koharu's choreo here.
Spuds decided to re-envision the show open for "SwingNation" as a 1980's era sitcom, complete with the soft jazzy intro music, freezeframes, slow city establishing shots, and other more. Warning: For those of you of a certain age, this might provoke flashbacks.
Some friends and I have been getting together in Golden Gate Park to work on our house dance technique. "Sessioning," as house dancers call it.
We all consider ourselves at various states of newbie-ness. So getting over that hump of practicing regularly can be really intimidating. Yes, you can "session" by yourself in your apartment or wherever, but you just don't feel the energy of the dance when you are by yourself. Going to a house dance club you can easily get intimidated when a bunch of sick house dancers take to the floor.
So my friend David has been organizing a casual house session on Sundays in Golden Gate Park. Even over the few weeks that we've been doing it, I can see the progression from more tentative, nervous, interior dancing, to more flowing, freeform, expressive movement.
Here's a little cypher from yesterday with David, Paul, Stephanie and myself that was a lot of fun.
It feels good to be in that place of learning and growing as a dancer. And house dance meets that sweet spot of the dynamism and expressiveness of street dancing, but with a friendly, casual, social vibe. I feel like I could do this for awhile, rather than some of the more demanding hip-hop forms like b-boying.
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.