TO GLADDEN THE HEART: JUMPIN’ AT SWINGLANDIA

I found out about the video below through the magic of YouTube — “luh2” found me . . . and I casually began to watch this. 

And found myself on a gray day feeling mightily elated.  The music?  Decca, Basie, JUMPIN’ AT THE WOODSIDE.  The dancers?  Athetic, spinning, stomping, joyous. 

(Dance purists please take a deep breath before commenting on violations of historical purity.) 

The place?  SWINGLANDIA, September 2010 . . . . Kiev, Ukraine!

Wouldn’t Herschel Evans have been tickled beyond words to know that his music had such vitality seventy years after his death in a place he’d only seen on a map . . . and that young young young folks were still swinging out to it?

As if their lives depended on it, which of course they do!  (Ours too.  Imagine a life without music or dancers. . . . )

9 responses to “TO GLADDEN THE HEART: JUMPIN’ AT SWINGLANDIA

  1. Glorious, as per usual!

  2. Я хочу быть ковер катер!

  3. What can one say except, “Da, Pops!” Or perhaps, “Swing out, Sergei”?

  4. Love those loose limbs. We didn’t jump around quite that much in the fifties.

  5. We call this version of the lindy the Funky Chicken Kiev — that’s how it translates!

  6. Jeffrey Sultanof

    I watched this several times, and it made me cry. The dancing was sensational, full of life and quite beautiful in its own way. and the fact that it was danced by young people who could be my grandchildren is just too much.

    Great music transcends language and time.

  7. Wise words. Music also transcends space and nationality. To think that the 1938 Basie band is alive in Kiev, in what looks like a gymnasium full of limber young people who are joyously ONE with the music — well, it makes me happy, teary, and proud. Cheers, Michael

  8. This really brings back such fond memories,,,,I wish I could still dance like this..Just turned another year in my life over, so the possibilities are getting dimmer of cutting the rug again…But I can watch and enjoy these, and remember,,,wiith a smile on my face. Thank you NM

  9. Hi, I occasionally found your post in google while I was looking for photos from the Swinglandia this year.
    In fact Swinglandia is actually quite a large swing dance camp here in Ukraine which happens every year (for almost 10 years) and the Swinglandia 2011 is just finished. Quite a funny coincidence – few hundreds of dancers were swinging at Swinglandia, partying and taking master classes just the day before you wrote this post 🙂

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