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October 16, 2008

i have little to say about this, and so a little post

Posted by dogpossum on October 16, 2008 5:12 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances

I'm still a little surprise that many Australian lindy hoppers think of blues dancing as passive, over-sexed, late-night and low-interest. But then, I think that I was lucky in Melbourne to have access to a vibrant local blues dancing community. A community (or should that be sub-branch of the swing dancing community? I think so. Just as we might include balboans for our swing dancing census, blues dancers also Belong To Us) whose social dancing component was at the time far more vibrant, interesting and live-music focussed than the wider local lindy hopping scene. But even in Melbourne, I was surprised that so many lindy hoppers would dismiss blues dancing in the above terms. Particularly when it was blues dancing (and balboa) that made such significant contributions to the groundedness and general movement away from 'arm leads' in many leads' dancing.

For my part, blues dancing was - in late 2007 at least - the most interesting and creatively stimulating part of social dancing in Melbourne. Live bands. A variety of DJs. Lots of leads and lots of follows, of all levels, out social dancing regularly. A pumping party vibe to every social dancing night. There were a number of factors contributing to the health of the Melbourne blues scene (not least of which were enthusiastic and ambitious events-organisers working within the unenviable constraints of school-based teaching and discourse), but I'm not particularly interested in discussing them here.

Really, I don't have terribly much to say, beyond sending you here to look at this very interesting image. I'll also add it as a popup image, just in case the site disappears:view image. This image really captures the way I think about blues dancing. Heck, I had trouble writing that - it feels a bit too much like the first year essays I've been marking, too close to a dull old semiotic analysis. But really, it is. Firstly, it's black and white. Or rather, black on white. Kind of unusual for webdesign, but particularly important for a dance which has its roots in black and white media: news print, pre-colour magazines, phonograph records, vinyl, shellac, photographs, early cinema. The white lines are kind of challenging on the eye, adding vibrancy and 'pop' to the title 'blues SHOUT!', as does the uneven lettering. All of this contributes to the sense of energy and dynamism which I tend to associate with blues dancing. For me, it is not dull or lifeless or passive or low-interest or over-sexed (though some blues dancers - as with lindy hoppers - are!).

Well, I have nothing more to say about this, except perhaps that I'd really like to go to this event. Pity it's in Chicago, huh?

Posted by dogpossum on October 16, 2008 5:12 PM in the category lindy hop and other dances