In the early days of swing dancing, Frankie Manning stood out for his moves and his innovative routines; he created the "air step" in the Lindy hop, a dance that took the U.S. and then the world by storm. In this fascinating autobiography, choreographer and Tony Award winner (Black and Blue) Frankie Manning recalls how his first years of dancing as a teenager at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom led to his becoming chief choreographer and a lead dancer for "Whitey's Lindy Hoppers," a group that appeared on Broadway, in Hollywood musicals, and on stages around the globe. Manning brings the Swing Era vividly back to life with his recollections of crowded ballrooms and of Lindy hoppers trying to outdo each other in spectacular performances. His memories of the many headliners and film stars, as well as uncelebrated dancers with whom he shared the stage, create a unique portrait of an era in which African American performers enjoyed the spotlight, if not a star's prerogatives and salary. With collaborator Cynthia Millman, Manning traces the evolution of swing dancing from its early days in Harlem through the post-World War II period, until it was eclipsed by rock 'n' roll and then disco. When swing made a comeback, Manning's 30-year hiatus ended. He has been performing, choreographing, and teaching ever since.
Telling a riveting true story of the emergence and development of an American icon, this book traces swing dancing from its origins to its status as a modern-day art form. • Contains insights from personal interviews with a variety of prominent dancers, scholars, and historians • Presents a chronology of the emergence of vernacular American dancing and the development of swing, from colonial times to the present day • Includes numerous illustrations and photographs depicting the diverse influences on the genre, from legendary musicians to iconic swing dancers and more • Contains a select bibliography of diverse source material, such as books, films, and magazine and newspaper articles • Provides a helpful index offering access to names, places, people, and all important subjects
During the 1930s, swing bands combined jazz and popular music to create large-scale dreams for the Depression generation, capturing the imagination of America's young people, music critics, and the music business. Swingin' the Dream explores that world, looking at the racial mixing-up and musical swinging-out that shook the nation and has kept people dancing ever since. "Swingin' the Dream is an intelligent, provocative study of the big band era, chiefly during its golden hours in the 1930s; not merely does Lewis A. Erenberg give the music its full due, but he places it in a larger context and makes, for the most part, a plausible case for its importance."—Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World "An absorbing read for fans and an insightful view of the impact of an important homegrown art form."—Publishers Weekly "[A] fascinating celebration of the decade or so in which American popular music basked in the sunlight of a seemingly endless high noon."—Tony Russell, Times Literary Supplement
The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Theater collects a critical mass of border-crossing scholarship on the intersections of dance and theatre. Taking corporeality as an idea that unites the work of dance and theater scholars and artists, and embodiment as a negotiation of power dynamics with important stakes, these essays focus on the politics and poetics of the moving body in performance both on and off stage. Contemporary stage performances have sparked global interest in new experiments between dance and theater, and this volume situates this interest in its historical context by extensively investigating other such moments: from pagan mimes of late antiquity to early modern archives to Bolshevik Russia to post-Sandinista Nicaragua to Chinese opera on the international stage, to contemporary flash mobs and television dance contests. Ideologically, the essays investigate critical race theory, affect theory, cognitive science, historiography, dance dramaturgy, spatiality, gender, somatics, ritual, and biopolitics among other modes of inquiry. In terms of aesthetics, they examine many genres such as musical theater, contemporary dance, improvisation, experimental theater, television, African total theater, modern dance, new Indian dance theater aesthetics, philanthroproductions, Butoh, carnival, equestrian performance, tanztheater, Korean Talchum, Nazi Movement Choirs, Lindy Hop, Bomba, Caroline Masques, political demonstrations, and Hip Hop. The volume includes innovative essays from both young and seasoned scholars and scholar/practitioners who are working at the cutting edges of their fields. The handbook brings together essays that offer new insight into well-studied areas, challenge current knowledge, attend to neglected practices or moments in time, and that identify emergent themes. The overall result is a better understanding of the roles of dance and theater in the performative production of meaning.
The Jazz Itineraries series, a new format based on Ken Vail's successful Jazz Diaries, charts the careers of famous jazz musicians, listing club and concert appearances with details of recording sessions and movie appearances. Copiously illustrated with contemporary photographs, newspaper extracts, record and performance reviews, ads and posters, the series provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the greatest jazz musicians of our times. No.2 in the series, co-authored by Ron Fritts, Ella Fitzgerald: The Chick Webb Years & Beyond 1935?1948, chronicles Ella?s life from her discovery and development by Chick Webb, the shock of Webb?s early death, her years as a bandleader, her success as a solo singer, marriage to Ray Brown and her first tour of England.
Between Beats: The Jazz Tradition and Black Vernacular Dance offers a new look at the complex intersections between jazz music and popular dance over the last hundred-plus years. Author Christi Jay Wells shows how popular entertainment and cultures of social dancing were crucial to jazz music's formation and development even as jazz music came to earn a reputation as a "legitimate" art form better suited for still, seated listening. Through the concept of choreographies of listening, the book explores amateur and professional jazz dancers' relationships with jazz music and musicians as jazz's soundscapes and choreoscapes were forged through close contact and mutual creative exchange. It also unpacks the aesthetic and political negotiations through which jazz music supposedly distanced itself from dancing bodies. Fusing little-discussed material from diverse historical and contemporary sources with the author's own years of experience as a social jazz dancer, it advances participatory dance and embodied practice as central topics of analysis in jazz studies. As it explores the fascinating history of jazz as popular dance music, it exposes how American anxieties about bodies and a broad cultural privileging of the cerebral over the corporeal have shaped efforts to "elevate" expressive forms such as jazz to elite status.
Ten years ago a revival of swing took place, originating in San Francisco, snowballing into today's international resurgence. This book presents the complete history of swing music and dancing, then and now.
An encyclopedia of life on the home front during the two world wars provides biographical profiles, articles on all aspects of life during the era, chronologies of important events, and primary source documents.
The 1940's was a time when society thought it improper for women to make a sax wail or let loose hot licks on skins, but with the advent of World War II and many men away fighting the war, women finally got their chance to strut their stuff on the bandstand. These all-girl bands kept morale high on the homefront and on USO tours of miltary bases across the globe while also helping to establish America's legacy in jazz music. "Take-off?" Oh, yeah. Several all-girl bands did. This book includes a hip swing CD.
Dance is more than an aesthetic of life – dance embodies life. This is evident from the social history of jive, the marketing of trans-national ballet, ritual healing dances in Italy or folk dances performed for tourists in Mexico, Panama and Canada. Dance often captures those essential dimensions of social life that cannot be easily put into words. What are the flows and movements of dance carried by migrants and tourists? How is dance used to shape nationalist ideology? What are the connections between dance and ethnicity, gender, health, globalization and nationalism, capitalism and post-colonialism? Through innovative and wide-ranging case studies, the contributors explore the central role dance plays in culture as leisure commodity, cultural heritage, cultural aesthetic or cathartic social movement.
Taking cultural theorist Michel de Certeau's notion of 'the everyday' as a critical starting point, this book considers how fashion shapes and is shaped by everyday life. Looking historically for the imprint of fashion within everyday routines such as going to work or shopping, or in leisure activities like dancing, the book identifies the 'fashion system of the ordinary', in which clothing has a distinct role in the making of self and identity. Exploring the period from 1890 to 2010, the study is located in London and New York, cities that emerged as as socially, ethnically and culturally diverse, as well as increasingly fashionable. The book re-focuses fashion discourse away from well-trodden, power-laden dynamics, towards a re-evaluation of time, memory, and above all history, and their relationship to fashion and everyday life. The importance of place and space - and issues of gender, race and social class - provides the broader framework, revealing fashion as both routine and exceptional, and as an increasingly significant part of urban life. By focusing on key themes such as clothing the city, what is worn on the streets, the imagining and performing of multiple identities by dressing up and down, going out, and showing off, Fashion and Everyday Life makes a unique contribution to the literature of fashion studies, fashion history, cultural studies, and beyond.
This informative two-volume set provides readers with an understanding of the fads and crazes that have taken America by storm from colonial times to the present. Entries cover a range of topics, including food, entertainment, fashion, music, and language. • Presents well-researched, factual material accessibly and engagingly • Presents what was popular in each decade through short sidebars • Illustrates what today's readers have in common with Americans of the past • Includes a historical overview of each decade • Contains a Glossary of Slang, a bibliography, and suggestions for further reading on each decade
Remixing European Jazz Culture examines a jazz culture that emerged in the 1990s in cosmopolitan cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, London, and Oslo – energised by the introduction of studio technologies into the live performance space, which has since developed into internationally recognised, eclectic, hybrid jazz styles. This book explores these oft-overlooked musicians and their forms that have nonetheless expanded the plane of jazz’s continued prosperity, popularity, and revitalisation in the twenty-first century – one where remix is no longer the sole domain of studio producers. Seeking to update the orthodoxies of the field of jazz studies, Remixing European Jazz Culture: incorporates electronic and digital performance, recording, and distribution practices that have transformed the culture since the 1980s; provides a more diverse and multifaceted cultural representation of European jazz and the contributions of a variety of performers; and offers an encompassing picture of the depth of jazz practice that has erupted through Northern Europe since 1989. With an expansion of international networks and a disintegration of artistic boundaries, the collaborative, performative, and real-time improvisational process of remixing has stimulated a merging of the music’s past and present within European jazz culture.
Chronicling over forty years of changes in African-American popular culture, the Regal Theatre (1928-1968) was the largest movie-stage-show venue ever constructed for a Black community. Semmes reveals the political, economic and business realities of cultural production and the institutional inequalities that circumscribed Black life.
The development of jazz and swing in the African-American community in Los Angeles in the years before the second World War received a boost from the arrival of a significant numbers of musicians from Chicago and the southwestern states. In Swingin’ on Central: African-American Jazz in Los Angeles, a new study of that vibrant jazz community, music historian and jazz journalist Peter Vacher traveled between Los Angeles and London over several years in order to track down key figures and interview them for this oral history of one of the most swinging jazz scenes in the United States. Vacher recreates the energy and vibrancy of the Central Avenue scene through first-hand accounts from such West Coast notables as trumpeters Andy Blakeney , George Orendorff, and McLure “Red Mack” Morris; pianists Betty Hall Jones, Chester Lane, and Gideon Honore, saxophonists Chuck Thomas, Jack McVea, and Caughey Roberts Jr; drummers Jesse Sailes, Red Minor Robinson, and Nathaniel “Monk” McFay; and others. Throughout, readers learn the story behind the formative years of these musicians, most of whom have never been interviewed until now. While not exactly headliners—nor heavily recorded—this community of jazz musicians was among the most talented in pre-war America. Arriving in Los Angeles at a time when black Americans faced restrictions on where they could live and work, jazz artists of color commonly found themselves limited to the Central Avenue area. This scene, supplemented by road travel, constituted their daily bread as players—with none of them making it to New York. Through their own words, Vacher tells their story in Los Angeles, offering along the way a close look at the role the black musicians union played in their lives while also taking on jazz historiography’s comparative neglect of these West Coast players. Music historians with a particular interest in pre-bop jazz in California will find much new material here as Vacher paints a world of luxurious white nightclubs with black bands, ghetto clubs and after-hours joints, a world within a world that resulted from the migration of black musicians to the West Coast.