Hip Hop Lindy?

Sagitta

Well-Known Member
#21
Great explanation d nice! When I was teaching someone about swing a couple weeks ago I explained about the syncopation in the music, and eventually by demonstrating the triple step done 3 & 4 vs 3 a4 I was able to get the idea across. Now I have a more articulate explanation to go along with it!! :)
 
#22
Thats it jen.

I'm glad the explanation made sense.

It isn't exact or as detailed as it needs to be to truly explain what is going on, for example to explain why Glenn Miller doesn't swsing as much (or even close) as Count Basie, but it is good enough to explain the basics to a dancer versus a musician.
 
#24
pygmalion said:
I saw this on another board and was totally shocked. Hip hop lindy? Is it possible/popular to mix elements of other dances in with lindy? What dances? And is that still really lindy or some new evolving dance form? Has anybody seen this done? Seen it taught?
If I dance Lindy to a Foxtrot, does that make it LindyFox?

I think that dances evolve over time (well I *know* it, but hey). Call it whatever you like. :D

I think that whatever a dancer brings to the dance is as valid as the "time-tested" steps that have come to be "accepted" as defining the dance form itself. It's about personal style.

It is defintely possible to mix elements of other dance forms into Lindy (or any other dance for that matter). The question is are we snobs enough to say "blah blah dance isn't *really* historically accurate"? Do we look down upon those that like to "change it up" a bit and add something fresh?

I'm staying neutral on this one. I have an opinion (believe me) :twisted: but I'm not going to tell you what it is. Been blasted too many times. 8)
 
#25
pygmalion said:
Okay. Then at the risk of sounding ignorant, which is certainly not my intent LOL! What makes a swing a swing? The music? The styling? The posture? Something else?
It's all about the music. 8)

It makes no difference if it's sweet or hot....

The dance is defined by the music to which it is danced. Before there were definable "dance names", there was the music.

If a "waltz" is played, the only logical thing to do is dance the Waltz. The problem lies in the fact that some are not as aware of the tempi having names (ie bossa nova, rumba, etc) as they are of the proper names of dance styles (ie Waltz, Samba, etc).

In fact, I have some old 78s (for the yungun's them's records - also known as LPs, Vinyl) that have the musical style/Dance Proper Name listed - as in Artist, Title, Dance Name. Apparently this was pretty popular in the early days. 8)

The key is to understand the music. A former co-worker of my hubby had a degree in Latin Jazz. He explained all the nuances of Latin music rhythms to hubby. What makes a "rumba" a *rumba* por ejemplo. If you understand the music, you'll understand the dance.

Once you are aware of the nuances of the music to which you dance, you begin to be able to see the similarities (a la hip hop to lindy) and the derivations. You become a better "dancer" because you understand the music.
 
#26
pygmalion said:
I've heard or read many people talking about music needing to have that swing. What exactly is that swing something in the musical timing, styling and placement of accents, I'm guessing. :?:
It's the timing of the triplets. They're "swung".. "ta-ta-ta" or "ch-ch-ch"

I don't know how to make the sound for you via keyboard.... Listen to some drums that have they snare doing a 123 kinda thing. It'll give you an idea...
 
#27
d nice said:
Lindy Hop is defined by the eight count swing out. The physical movements used when executing this move dictate the partner interaction, frame, connection, generation and use of momentum, the rhythm of the move, and the relationship with the floor. Any move that maintains these elements is Lindy Hop... regardless of where it was originally derived.

Now these elements are not static, unbendable, untransmutable and therefor easily shattered. They are flexible, elastic, but ever present. If I want to moonwalk in the middle of a move, it is perfectly possible... the question is am I capable of doing it while maintaing the lion's share of the above elements untouched.
....
Personally I have no problem with the continued development/metamorphasis of one dance spawning another, I love it as a matter of fact. I think it is important though that the original character of a dance be preserved. I'd hate for what was called West Coast Swing ten years ago to disappear. Grow, evolve, reach its full potential yes... but the discarding of certain elements that originally defined the dance will likely lead to the death of the original form.
This is the BEST I've ever heard this put. You should write a doctoral thesis on it. I'm serious. YAY for d nice!
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#28
DancingMommy said:
pygmalion said:
I've heard or read many people talking about music needing to have that swing. What exactly is that swing something in the musical timing, styling and placement of accents, I'm guessing. :?:
It's the timing of the triplets. They're "swung".. "ta-ta-ta" or "ch-ch-ch"

I don't know how to make the sound for you via keyboard.... Listen to some drums that have they snare doing a 123 kinda thing. It'll give you an idea...
Yeah. I have a pretty good idea. :) To add a little more confusion to the mix LOL!, I pulled down this description from the web.
http://www.eijkhout.net/lead_follow/music_and_timing.html said:
Swing music emphasizes the division of the beat a lot. That's the essence of the swing feel. Swing clearly divides in 2-beat units, and the music usually has strong backbeats that differentiate between the strong beat (downbeat) or the weak beat (backbeat). In 4/4 (common time), true swing is neither a triplet nor a dotted eight and sixteenth note pattern; it is somewhere in between. How much in between depends on the song and the people playing the song. A sixteenth pattern is counted 1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a. A triplet pattern is 1 la le 2 la le 3 la le 4 la le.


1 e & a 2 sixteenths
1 . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1 la le 2 triplets

A swing is between the 1 a 2 a 3 a 4 a of the first example and the 1 le 2 le 3 le 4 le of the second. A hard swing approaches the dotted eight and sixteenth note feel. An easy swing is closer to triplets. Straight eighths are not swing but you can still dance a Swing dance to them.
Aside: All swing music is not written in 4/4 time; much of it is written in 2/2 time, sometimes 6/8 or 12/8. Sometimes a particular song, especially faster ones, can be found in 4/4 time in one book and 2/2 time in another. But let's ignore that for now. To make things ever fuzzier to the casual observer, most swing sheet music is notated as straight eighths with the instruction "with a swing feel" over the first measure of music. This was originally done to make the music copyist's job easier in the days when all music was hand written, and the tradition follows today even though music is usually typeset. A good musician turns that notation into the swing feel without thinking too much about it. Musicians do not learn to swing as beginners. Swing is an interpretation of music. It is the accents/legatos and staccatos/stringendos as well as how you slur and tie the notes that makes a particular tune swing the way it does.
 

Vince A

Active Member
#29
Great words d nice, but I do have a question . . . but do not want to take anything away from what yu wrote . . .
If, where you wrote, "Lindy Hop is defined . . .," I took out the words 'Lindy Hop' in two places and the word 'eight,' could your definition also apply to WCS?
 
#30
No... yes... well the classic styled west coast swing yes. Take a look at the US Open Anniversary tape. They show various performance pieces and you can see the dance change from something that looks remarkably like Smooth Style Lindy (Dean Collin's was stioll alive and his proteges were active and visible) the connection to lindy hop is strong and rhythm is king in musicality. There is a constant sense of motion and it is possible to take one basic move and see how the entire dance is reflected in that.

With modern west coast you can't. The idea of musicality has become both much simpler, yet more detailed. In Lindy Hop we call this "micromusicality" where the dancers are attempting to acknowledge every note (or as many as their skill level allows for them too) being played and key off the melodic lines rather than the rhythmic lines.

Since none of the basic moves exhibit this trait, they all still are based off the rhythmic approach in execution and character I would say that modern WCS requires a very different description.

This is why from a kinesiologists stand point the dance is either split into two seperate forms or is ripe to do so.

Robert Royston has pointed out that swing is cyclical (which I entirely agree with) that wcs has always had new influences come in both music and dance, vastly changing it for a short while and then it comes back to its base with a somewhat better understanding of music, new moves, and new creative ideas, but always back to that core.

It'll be interesting to see if it happens this time as it has in the recent past without spawning a new dance or if it will duplicate lindy hop from a historica view and "fracture" spawning one or more new dance forms.

FYI - It isn't just a case of "funky" versus blues, but ballroom parameters becoming "standard". Flashlighting and anchoring for example... two well accepted rarely questioned techniques, but neither ever existed in the original style of wcs as techniques in and of themselves. Those were qualities that were achieved through other techniques... by turning the end result into the technique, basic techniques like dynamic frame and continual movement have become less developed and the dance has changed because of it. (this is only bad in the context that certain moves from WCS in the early eighties would never work with todays intermediate dancers and quite a few advanced dancers).
 
#31
http://www.eijkhout.net/lead_follow/music_and_timing.html said:
Aside: All swing music is not written in 4/4 time; much of it is written in 2/2 time, sometimes 6/8 or 12/8. Sometimes a particular song, especially faster ones, can be found in 4/4 time in one book and 2/2 time in another. But let's ignore that for now.
Erm... actually most early swing music was written in 2/4 time not 2/2 time. It is rare to find Swing music written in anythihng but 2/4 and 4/4 time. Swing as a sub-genre of jazz... now if the autrhor was meaning a swinging song as a rhythmic technique used throughout jazz then absolutely you will find some odd time signatures (Dave Bruebecks "Take Five" LP nothing but odd time signatures).

This brings to mind something Swingmommy said about Lindy to Foxtrot music, and records that have a dance name attributed to them... Pretty artificial for most. Early recorded Swing Songs were marked as foxtrot, because the record industry had no idea that what was being danced in the black ballrooms to those songs was lindy hop.

To make things ever fuzzier to the casual observer, most swing sheet music is notated as straight eighths with the instruction "with a swing feel" over the first measure of music. This was originally done to make the music copyist's job easier in the days when all music was hand written, and the tradition follows today even though music is usually typeset. A good musician turns that notation into the swing feel without thinking too much about it. Musicians do not learn to swing as beginners. Swing is an interpretation of music. It is the accents/legatos and staccatos/stringendos as well as how you slur and tie the notes that makes a particular tune swing the way it does.
SO very true... That is why when you get a good classically trained musician playing swing music he sounds bad, when compared to a jazz musician who may have no formal training at all. Swing is something you have to feel, to make decisions about where you are going to do something or what to do, it is a developed instinct .
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#32
d nice said:
SO very true... That is why when you get a good classically trained musician playing swing music he sounds bad, when compared to a jazz musician who may have no formal training at all. Swing is something you have to feel, to make decisions about where you are going to do something or what to do, it is a developed instinct .

Hey what can I say? I did orchestra, choir, concert band and marching band, no jazz band. I did go to jazz band rehearsals, though. To watch my piano player boyfriend play! :lol: I don't guess that counts. :lol: :lol:
 
#33
d nice said:
It isn't exact or as detailed as it needs to be to truly explain what is going on, for example to explain why Glenn Miller doesn't swsing as much (or even close) as Count Basie, but it is good enough to explain the basics to a dancer versus a musician.
I wanted to ask you about this Glen Miller thing. My boyfriend and I were discussing him about a week ago and what kind of dance you would dance to his music. What do you suggest?
 
#34
Foxtrot or Peabody, for most of it. There are about a handful of GREAT lindy songs but Miller was not a Swing Band, or even reallly much of a Jazz band... if you read his autobiography he says it himself. Glenn Miller was the O-Town of the Swing Era. He used Jazz and Swing stylings but his music was really pop as was the Andrew Sisters (much like O-Town uses Hip-Hop and R&B stylings but are in fact pop).

This is not a bad thing, I actually love Glenn Miller and the Andrew Sisters music... I just don't like dancing lindy hop to either group for the most part.
 
#36
d nice said:
Foxtrot or Peabody, for most of it. There are about a handful of GREAT lindy songs but Miller was not a Swing Band, or even reallly much of a Jazz band... if you read his autobiography he says it himself. Glenn Miller was the O-Town of the Swing Era. He used Jazz and Swing stylings but his music was really pop as was the Andrew Sisters (much like O-Town uses Hip-Hop and R&B stylings but are in fact pop).

This is not a bad thing, I actually love Glenn Miller and the Andrew Sisters music... I just don't like dancing lindy hop to either group for the most part.
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

You have about the best perspective on Lindy Hop I've ever seen put into words. You could almost make me a convert - and people who know me IRL would say that's almost inpossible!

I've never thought of GM or AS as "swing". In fact, I think that a lot of the furor over Lindy Hop and it's historocity as a dance and the "authentic" recreation of it has been a tad overblown in our area. In fact, in our locale, it caused a MAJOR split in the dance "scene". It was worse than a church split. We had the First Church of Dean Collins and the Frankie Manning AME. It was as if the dancing itself didn't matter as much as which "denomination" you followed. To a dancer dancer this is kind of ridiculous.

One of the main reasons I tend to stay out of Swing/Lindy discussions is because of all the bad blood that has gone one around here. It's a shame. After 4 years, things have sort of settled down a bit, but there are still certain individuals I tend to avoid because of the animosity generate because I'm a stinking ballroom dancer and therefore couldn't possibly have anything constructive to add... blablabla...


Have you compiled your body of work into a written form? I'd be interste to see it all in a book form. I think it woulod be of interest to lots of people. And I like what you said about Dave Bruebeck... That album rocks just because of the wacky time sigs.
 
#37
Well... I'm in research mode for a book (God alone knows when I'll actually start writing), but it is about the history of my family and how jazz has always been a recurring thing in our clan. Not so much of a book about lindy hop.

Now my dance notebooks are full of this kind of thing, as are a number of website/forums. I've had students threaten to steal my notebooks when they see them. Then again this was before half of my personal archive was lost on a plane and never recovered. :(
 

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
#38
d nice said:
half of my personal archive was lost on a plane and never recovered. :(
:shock: :shock: :shock:

That sucks!!!!!! :cry: :cry: :cry:

I was warned very early on to always keep my field notes and interview tapes with me in my carry-on to avoid exactly such a catastrophe . . . thank G-d I had someone around to give me this advice.
 

SDsalsaguy

Administrator
Staff member
#40
Ouch! My sympathies on that. Given the nature of my own research and data collection I can really empathize with what a tremendous loss that must have been. How long ago did this happen if you don't mind my asking?
 

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