I want to share a really amazing dance experience with you. This weekend I visited the Riverboat Jazz Festival for the first time and had a blast along with a small group of Lindy Hoppers from Cph, Odense and Århus. Why did’nt anyone tell me to go much earlier? Boy, did we enjoy the beautiful city of Silkeborg, the water, the steam boats and all that dance friendly jazz (aka traditional jazz) everywhere!
We heard – and danced to – several great bands but I want to share with you one experience in particular. Saturday late afternoon Dr. Michael White’s Liberty Jazz Band. From New Orleans. The huge tent was packed with people sitting at long tables and then about 6 lindy hoppers dancing at the side of the stage. It’s funny how when a band really “has it” it feels like…it just feels so right, it fills you up with bubbles of joy, the whole body reacts and just cannot be still and then it happened : During a solo Mr. White gets up from his chair and plays directly towards us dancers. I feel every tune of his clarinet bypassing my brain and go straight into my body. I respond, a looong high tune makes me prolong a movement and fast rolling notes turn into shimmies, my partner hears it too. And then WE do a spin and the clarinet makes the sound effect -hey!!! … this is a both-way communication!? Forgive me for maybe flattering ourselves (the dancers) but I really felt the band listening to us too during this amazing concert.
And this is exactly what I am dreaming of when dancing to live music. This is what I imagine it must have been like when this music was young and not yet recorded for everybody to play at home. It is what we, for obvious reasons, forgot is possible as dancers, being raised with CD’s and mp3 that always sound the same and never respond to our feedback. But I don’t care about my past, I am going hunting for moments like this at the upcomming Copenhagen Jazz Festival!
Hear Dr Michael White talk about New Orleans music and dancing :