I’m writing some notes for our students on FB, so I figured I’d let the content free, here in the unfenced part of the internet.
Stearns was a jazz music and dance historian and reseacher, who was involved in the founding of the Institute of Jazz Studies.
I’m very interested in discussions about history and historical research. I’ve written about a million billion times before (this post ‘Try To Write About Jazz’ sums up some of my thinking). One of the things I’m most interested in is the way dancers use history. We do a lot of things with historical narrative [...]
This is a post about Duke Ellington and dance, because he is on my mind at the moment.
I’ve recently discovered the 1951/52 stuff by the Johnny Hodges band on this dodgy digital download album Pound of Blues is really great for teaching dance, particularly choreography which recognises strict phrasing. It’s good, [...]
blackface.com is a useful resource for people who’re into African American dance and music of the early 20th Century (ie, us).
If you’re thinking about using some characters from 1930s or 40s films for your choreography, you may want to read up and avoid offending folk and looking like an [...]
A critical discussion of the New Orleans jazz revival movement in the US and in Australia (ie not just some awful ‘jazz journalism’ style ‘history’, but an actual engagement with the politics and ideology of these projects A critical engagement with the Folkways and Lomax projects (particularly stuff on the New Deal projects) A critical [...]
Forgive the messiness of this article, please. I have a rubbish cold and I’m trying to string thoughts together, and not doing so well. But I want to wack down these ideas now before I forget. They’re not properly researched, and I apologise for that. This post has also suddenly changed tack, and goes a [...]
We’re teaching a bunch of Al Minns and Leon James stuff at the moment, so I’m revisiting a lot of fun footage. Al Minns worked with people like Lennart Westerlund in the earliest days of the lindy hop revival. We hear a lot of stories from these revivalist dancers about how they discovered the [...]
Library of Congress’ Archive of Folk Culture
The American folk music revival (NB the blues revival, and the American musicians touring Europe)
the Jelly Roll Morton Library of Congress recordings
The Smithsonian folkways label