Lindy hop champions Skye Humphries and Remy Kouakou Kouame performed a choreographed piece at Snowball in Sweden and Authentic Jazz Weekend in Korea only a few weeks apart. It's basically the same routine, but in some ways they are almost two different pieces. Check them out.
Remy and Skye at Snowball
Skye and Remy's dancing is really clean and classy in this version. The bit where Skye is fixing his tie is sweet, particularly since it flops around again just a few seconds later. Remy hits that toe freeze like a champ.
The audio mix is really interesting here. You catch lots of neat syncopations and rhythms that Remy and Skye are doing that you normally wouldn't notice in a video. The audience is relatively subdued, which helps their foot taps and stomps come through more clearly.
Skye and Remy at Authentic Jazz Weekend
Skye and Remy seem a lot looser and more energetic here. Perhaps because they've done it a few more times by this point. Or maybe it's because the energy level of the audience is just so high. People are just losing it almost right at the beginning. Their solos are also quite different here, more playful and silly.
I haven't even mentioned the bands yet. Both times they perform to the same song, but to different bands -- Naomi Uyama and Her Handsome Devils in Snowball and Sage Min's band at AJW. That of course has a huge effect on the dancers and what they have to work with.
I'm not really sure which version I like better at this point. I think after seeing them both several times, I have to say I appreciate different things about both.
It's a good reminder that even with "set" choreography by the same performers, you never really see the same piece twice. There are so many factors that go into the dance that make it unique and impossible to perfectly reproduce every time. Which is one of the things that makes lindy hop so damn exciting.
Hattip: Shelby Johnson for bringing these clips to my attention.