In 1937, the U.S. were struggling to recover from the Great Depression when in August the country went into a new recession.
In the same month The Big Apple dance craze took off and almost everybody got infected by the virus.
Judy Pritchett did a lot of research about The Big Apple and made a DVD called “Dancing The Big Apple 1937“, which she presented this summer in Herräng.
As the narrator of the documentary, Judy tells us the story about that phenomenon back in the late 30s, where it started, how it evolved and especially interesting, where the roots are, namely in the African culture and in the (religious) ring shouts.
The documentary is sprinkled with a lot of pictures, footages and news paper extracts.
The DVD “Dancing The Big Apple 1937” consists of three parts:
- History: 30 minutes documentary
- Instruction: Lance Benishek is demonstrating steps from the popular Big Apple, followed by a Big Apple Contest for students with called steps
- Choreography: The famous Big Apple choreography by Frankie Manning from “Keep Punching” featuring Whiteys Lindy Hoppers
I'm a big fan of documentaries anyway. I highly recommend the DVD to everybody who is interested in the Afroamerican Vernacular Jazz Dance history and culture.
We all know the Big Apple choreography by Frankie Manning, but originally it was not a choreographed dance.
Judy – who's voice is very pleasant to listen to – gives us a lot of valuable insights about the origins.
Maybe one critic point: the structure of the documentary may sometimes be a little bit confusing. Nevertheless, buy the DVD today!
By the way, the documentary is invited to the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema in Boulder, Colorado (Friday & Saturday, September 10 & 11, 2010). Congratulations from Shuffle Projects!
Title: Dancing The Big Apple 1937 – African Americans Inspire a National Craze
Author: Judy Pritchett
Production: Dancetime Publications in association with SavoyStyle