[UPDATED] Lincoln Center on the History of Lindy Hop

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Today, June 21, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York is hosting a panel discussion on the history of lindy hop. The featured panelists are LaTasha Barnes, Mickey Davidson, Cynthia Millman, Tena Morales, and Sally Sommer. 

For those that can't make it, there is a helpful article on the history of lindy hop that does a nice job capturing some of the societal issues and influences that led to this dance form.

Tracing the origins of the Lindy takes us north of Lincoln Center to Harlem and to three of its legendary ballrooms: the Alhambra, the Renaissance, and the Savoy, with the latter regarded as “the pinnacle.” As legendary Lindy Hopper Norma Miller and swing-era historian Ernie Smith said, “. . . the Alhambra was grade school, the Renaissance was high school, and the Savoy was college, and beyond!” Without these ballrooms to nurture its bloom, the Lindy might never have existed. Here’s the connection: swing music manifests a balance between orchestration and improvisation. Likewise, the Lindy (and the other swing-era dance form, rhythm tap dancing) uses arranged structures and improvisation as equal partners. Both the music and the dance(s) “combine improvisation and arrangement in a single structure.” And they met, meshed, and matured in the large, open ballroom spaces where both could stretch their limits...

UPDATE 6/25: Here is a video from the panel from Facebook. Definitely worth a listen.


Part of the Midsummer Night Swing festival at Lincoln Center. Check it out, if you are in the area.