Written by Lennart Westerlund
The idea to arrange this event originally came about in early May 2018, when Daniel and Lennart visited Chris Lee in New York, in connection to some research work around especially the revival of the Lindy Hop. While spending time together, we all gradually got a feeling that maybe there would be an interest to put on a New York event partly linked to the above mentioned research work, but furthermore also to a handful of other parametres as below:
- it will be the 35 year anniversary since the three Swedes (Anders Lind, Henning Sörensen and Lennart Westerlund) came to New York for the first time looking for the roots of the Lindy Hop
- it will be Frankie Manning 105th birthday, which is an important date for us and our continued tribute to our great friend and teacher
- it seems to us that most contemporary events have more of a post-modern/contemporary approach than an old-school ditto
The above are the basics of why we are planning to arrange the event in New York in late May next year.
To round off this short presentation, please find the below basic ingredients for the event:
- traditional classes with Swedish teachers (eWa Staremo-Burak, Mimmi Gunnarsson, Åsa Heedman, Fredrik Dahlberg, Daniel Heedman and Lennart Westerlund) dedicated to the New York/Harlem old-school tradition as we were taught by Frankie Manning, Al Minns, and others
- lectures, interviews, film shows, panel discussions on the historical context of Jazz Era Harlem Lindy Hop
- performances and demonstrations
We hope you will join us.
MAY 24-26, 2019
This May will mark the 35 year anniversary of three Swedes, Anders Lind, Henning Sörensen, and Lennart Westerlund, visiting New York for the first time looking for the roots of the Lindy Hop. It was then that they met Al Minns and first saw Frankie Manning. Lennart’s close relationship with Frankie began soon after with a deep friendship and a 35 year legacy of studying Lindy Hop from both of their teachings. The date happened to also coincide with Frankie’s birthday, which has been an important date for all Lindy Hoppers everywhere since the resurgence.
The spirit of the event is to return to the approach that dancers took 35 years ago when they were first discovering Lindy Hop. Imagine what it was like to learn about Lindy Hop before YouTube, Google, and social media, when you had to investigate exactly how Al Minns, Frankie Manning, and other original Harlem dancers moved and interpreted jazz music. Imagine what it was like when all of your learning was directly from the surviving dancers from the Savoy Ballroom or from studying old videos.
The event will include:
- 10 hours of Traditional workshops with three generations of Swedish teachers dedicated to the New York old-school tradition, as they were taught by Frankie Manning, Al Minns, and others
- Lectures, interviews, film shows, and panel discussions on the historical context of the Jazz Era and African American roots of Lindy Hop from Harlem
- Performances and demonstrations
- Sunday night dance at the historic Alhambra Ballroom; a 105th Birthday Celebration to honor the Life and Legacy of the Ambassador of Swing Frankie Manning, hosted by members of the Harlem community, Julia Loving & Ronald Jones
Visiting Instructors: eWa Staremo-Burak, Mimmi Gunnarsson, Åsa Heedman, Fredrik Dahlberg, Daniel Heedman, and Lennart Westerlund
The idea is to get back to both the roots of the dance but also the roots of learning, focusing on the Harlem and African American history and on the lessons that those Harlem dancers first shared with their curious students. These workshops will get back to the roots of the dance, reviving some the spirit of how Lennart, eWa, and other dancers from the 1980s first approached learning Lindy Hop, with deep respect for the history of the dance.
Join us with fresh eyes, a curious spirit, a deep respect for the Harlem history, and an unfaltering connection between jazz dancing and jazz music.