Stuff We Liked: Cultural Appropriation and Lindy Hop, Interview with Al & Leon, Basie’s Birthday

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This week, lots of dancers from a variety of traditions are reading this article “At What Point Does Appreciation Become Appropriation?” from Dance Magazine, August 2019 issue. It’s got a lot of salient points for lindy hoppers to consider, as we practice this African American artform. It doesn’t present any easy answers, but instead highlights how different dancers negotiate the challenges of representing accurately the roots of the dance they practice, from Flamenco, Indian traditional dance, Jamaican dancehall, hip-hop, and Irish dance.

Give a shout-out to the dances you’re doing,” Genius says, “where they come from, where you learned it.” Crediting teachers and trailblazers in social media posts, in program notes and in interviews is an easy and critical way to acknowledge an art form’s lineage and your place in it with gratitude and humility. That recognition, Hayes says, “is a step people skip, and it leads to conflict that people don’t intend.
B-girl Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie fell in love with hip hop as a young immigrant to the U.S. from Israel and Italy, and she credits her mentor Richard Santiago with helping to open her eyes to the painful history that spawned that art form. “You can’t be about these forms that come from the African diaspora and the trauma of slavery and not participate in the fight for equality,” she says.

Read the whole article here. And check out more posts on Yehoodi about Black representation in lindy hop

Other Stuff We Liked:

I remember one night in summer when they had Count Basie, Chick Webb, and Benny Goodman.The windows were open, and so many people jammed the streets outside to listen that they blocked off Lenox Avenue from a Hundred and Thirty-ninth Street to a Hundred and Forty-first.
  • Yesterday was the birthday of William James "Count" Basie , born August 21, 1904. It’s hard to pick a favorite Count Basie song, so we’ll just leave this 1965 concert filmed by the BBC right here. You’re welcome.

  • Caleb Teicher is a multi-disciplinary dancer and performer based in New York City who includes tap and lindy hop in his repertoire. Check out this profile of him  in Dance Magazine’s August 2019 issue.  He also got a lovely writeup in the New York Times not long ago. Go, Caleb, go!

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  • Lastly, check out this sweet little video of Juan Villafane and Mariel Gastiarena of Argentina preparing for a show with the Hot Shooters band from last month.

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