Perspective/Reflection of Afro Swing/Lindy Hop and Life
Afro-Swing / Lindy Hop and the music of Jazz have been on common journeys as heard in the music of musicians like Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim, Miriam Makeba and Ndikho Xaba. For me, Afro-Swing is a reconnecting and reconfirming of cultural dancing as it goes full circle.
Mickey with her Mozambican “Padrinho” Juma
Just as the people journeyed across the ocean, changed, adapted and redefined themselves, they kept a connection of spirit until that journey brought them back to the mother land as part of the circle of life. Please note this return to roots can be experienced on many different levels of existence besides physical.
This dance, The Lindy Hop from Harlem New York answered the sound of the drum set and the energy of the Big Band Era. The movement/music relationship is rooted in African culture as experienced with the drum family.
This relationship is brought back ready for further exploration and expansion. Being added to this conversation is the physical communication of two people partnering (The Lindy Hop) with the intimacy of the music. The “Break Away Steps” open infinite possibilities through improvisation connecting over 500 years of being away from home.
What makes jazz to me a vehicle of truth in expression? Its’ that each person brings themselves to the expression no matter where they come from to the global table and either you feel it or not.
Everyone doesn’t feel the same and that is why there is room in the world for many types of Jazz with improvisation being an important element in most. As Afro-Swing finds voices throughout the continent, the contributors will not be defined only by race, color or geographical location, but in the spirit and the being one with the music. All of this holds true to me in dancing to many different styles of jazz music. What is the main thread for me? My relationship to the others on the dance floor (including a partner if I have one), the music and the communication created in the coming together of the moment. I feel it as a performer and I feel it when social dancing too.