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January 24, 2007

tranky doo update

Posted by dogpossum on January 24, 2007 10:57 AM in the category lindy hop and other dances

Ok, so I've been working on the tranky doo for about a month (or three weeks - I can't remember which). Even for as slow a learner as I, that's sufficient time to ....

look, why can't I write in English today?

....anyway, I've pretty much learnt the Tranky Doo now. There are a couple of bits where I'm not exactly sure of the timing (is it 2 or 4 repeats of the 'ooh-aah' towards the end there?), but I have ironed out some confusions (Dan suggests doing left-right-left-right rather than triple step at the end of the second fall off the log in the first phrase to stop me being early). I can do it at full speed (192bpm) quite happily.
I've also discovered it's being taught here in March. Dang. But I'm hoping it's the Hot Shots part of the teaching team - Hannah and Matthias - teaching it so I can get their super styling happening.
Or, as I've pointed out to Dan, we need to strut this baby old school before that weekend so we can get maximum show-off value for our effort.

At any rate, the Tranky Doo no longer holds sufficient appeal for the hour of practice I'm doing every day (yes, it's true - but I'd like to be able to walk without falling over, and dancing helps with that). I have decided the next stop on my Tour of Venerable Jazz Routines will be the Big Apple:

Mostly because I've been writing about the way the Big Apple incorporated bits of the Tranky Doo (we love you Frankie). But also because it's a fricking KICK ARSE routine!

I've also just realised that I've failed to mention (in that paper) that there've been at least two bands who've recreated the arrangements of the nameless (and fairly ordinary) song in that clip. That fascinates me - not only are dancers recreating routines from archival footage, but musicians are recreating music from the footage. And it's important to remember that the arrangement of a particular song (ie writing out all the parts of all the instruments) is often 'ear marked' by particular bands. So each great band leader would have a particular take on a big song, marked by their arrangement.
Some of these arrangements suck arse. Some rock. And this is where you realise that a truly great big band was more than its leader or soloists or rhythm section or vocalists - it was also about the arranger(s) and composer(s).

I will report back on the Big Apple and let you know how I'm going. If I can ever get up the guts I'll film myself so you can all have a good laugh.
But here's pic of some Australian (and New Zealand) dancers doing the routine to tide you over:


Posted by dogpossum on January 24, 2007 10:57 AM in the category lindy hop and other dances