Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Swing

I am supposed to be writing but I have been wasting time this morning looking at lindy-hop and jitterbug videos on YouTube. I love Swing music, and I like the dancing that goes with it. I think the women are assertive and uninhibited.

The early examples in the 30s and early 40s are more dominated by black dancers, and the dancing is generally more powerful. The examples from the 1950s - taken from mainstream films about white teenagers - are mostly fairly tame. On the whole the black women are allowed to move more, pick up the men and swing them as well as vice-versa, express their physical movements more confidently. I know it is because of racism that it was acceptable to show a black woman swinging a man around, or jumping in the air and showing her knickers, and not a white woman of the same era. But the dancing of the women is not at all demeaning, regardless of race. They are full of energy and bravado.

Anyway, here are a couple of good ones.

This is the classic from Helzapoppin (1941): by a professional dance troupe. I notice that the black women dancers are all shown as working people, and they are confident and assertive with the men.

A 1945 film called Swing Fever: in this clip a woman dances with two men, a soldier and a sailor, and gets them to dance together.
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