Member of the Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, Ann Johnson was seriously badass (you can see her undies – and hardcore leg muscles – here. She and her partner (Billy Williams) are the first onto the floor in the jitterbug contest section of the ‘Keep Punchin” short (at about 3.08 in this clip):
Dunham was a dancer, but also a choreographer, and I think I want to give some concert dance choreographers of the 1920s, 30s and 40s and 50s a bit of space as well.
Dunham’s piece ‘Barrelhouse Blues’ is really interesting. I think it gives me a place to start thinking about ‘blues dancing’ performances in historical context – this piece was a response to (and incorporates) the vernacular dance of the period, rather than an ‘accurate’ ‘depiction’ of vernacular dance.
It’s the second piece in this clip, but I want to include the first piece ‘Ostrich’ because it’s so amazing, and really positions Dunham within the context of other choreographers and dancers of this period who were exploring African dance within an African American context. Also, because ‘Ostrich’ is AMAZING.
Extreme awesome lindy hopper from Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers! You can see her in clips like the Keep Punchin Big Apple and Jitterbug Contest, but I can’t pick her – can you?
…btw, her inestimable partner was Thomas ‘Tops’ Lee.
Today, a woman who particularly inspires/inspired me!
I was in this class with Sugar and Peter, and one morning early in the week Sugar self-corrected describing the leads as ‘he’ with the comment: “because these days girls lead too, and that’s alright!” I led in most of my classes that week, and she was one of the few teachers I’ve _ever_ had who’s been so encouraging of women leads.
While the theme is ‘Women in the Business of Food’ Womenshistory.com.au I’m going to see just how many brilliant women jazz dancers I can come up with. One per day. Is it possible? Will I need your help?
So go here and check out some badass solo sister action. When I say ‘solo jazz’, that’s what I’m talking about. The splits stuff and the girl in white doing the tremors could be slotted into the ‘eccentric dance’ category – sort of ‘stunt dancing’.
Here’s the descriptor from the page:
Dancing outtake from Hollywood Rhythm Vol. 1: The Best of Jazz and Blues – Released 2001
Section: A Bundle of Blues (excerpt taken from approx. 7 min into the section to the end)
Stars: Duke Ellington, Ivie Anderson, Florence Hill, Bessie Dudley, Duke Ellington Orchestra
Plot Outline Duke Ellington and his orchestra play two jazz compositions plus ‘Stormy Weather’ (sung by Ivy Anderson).