Monday, April 27, 2009

Frankie Manning has passed away

The legendary Lindy hop dancer Frankie Manning passed away today, Monday morning, in New York, 94 years old.

I first encountered Frankie at my first visit to Herräng Dance Camp. What struck me was his good spirit and his infectious laugh. To me he embodied everything that lindy hop is all about: joy and happiness.

Frankie Manning contributed so much to this world. We will miss you!

Tell me your stories about Frankie Manning! Please comment.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy birthday in advance, Frankie Manning!

Frankie Manning, the lindy hop legend, turns 95 in May, and he is going to have a gigantic birthday party in New York.

Peter Strom & Ramona Staffeld have created a choreography to honor Frankie at his birthday. People all over the world have participated in performing it and of course we have also done it in Uppsala. The video above is from Tuesday at Cats Corner at Smålands nation.

The song is Savoy by Lucky Millinder.

I think it looks really nice. What do you think? Please comment.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Duke! - Concert and show April 29th

MessAround performs Uppsala Stomp at Cats Corner at Smålands nation. Copyright: Henrik Eriksson ( The photo may not be published elsewhere without written permission.

Happy Birthday Duke! is a concert and show that you really should see. It's a concert that celebrates Duke Ellingtons 110th birthday. The concert features no less than three bands and orchestras: Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra, SweDukes and the Middlesex group.

But wait there's more. Way more. You will also see the swing dance troupe MessAround perform together with the bands. The will show off all kinds of swing dances: Lindy hop, balboa, shag, charleston and tap.

The concert takes place next Wednesday, April 29th, at Univeritetsaulan, at 19.30.
Tickets cost 130 kr (90 kr for students). If you got a UNT-card: 100 kr (70 kr for students). Buy tickets via UNT Biljett (018-478 10 70) or at Ticnet.

Invite all your friends to Happy Birthday Duke! on Facebook.

If you were at Cats Corner yesterday, you got a sneek peak of MessAround doing the charleston number Uppsala Stomp. The number was tight and had lots of energy.

Claes Brodda (saxophone) at Grand. Copyright: Henrik Eriksson ( The photo may not be published elsewhere without written permission.

Uppsala University Jazz Orchestra (UUJO) has got a new member: Claes Brodda on saxophone. The photo above is from Saturday when he played together with Jennie Löbel and the Swing Kings at Swingkattens dance at Grand. I look forward to hear more of him. (I'll post more about the Saturday night dance later).

The photos are taken by me and may not be published elsewhere without my permission. Contact me if you want to buy or license them.

Will you attend "Happy Birthday Duke!"? Please comment.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

1920s Charleston at the Gatsby Picnic 08 - Lynne and Peter

I really like this video clip from the Gatsby Picnic 2008 where Lynne Koehlinger and Peter Varshavsky perform a 1920's partner charleston routine to Jimmie Noone's Apex Orchestra song "Every Evening (I Miss You)".

The charleston dancing looks very airy and light and there is all sorts of charleston in the routine; partner charleston, solo charleston and breakaways (that later on developed into lindy hop swingouts). I'd like to get better at charleston, it's been a while since we had charleston workshop in town.

What do you think of the video clip? Please comment.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jumpin' at the Woodside: Antti Sarpila

Jumpin' at the Woodside is a classic swing song by Count Basie. It has a fast tempo and has often been used as music for lindy hop jam circles.

Above is a version from Bern Jazz Festival 1988 where Antti Sarpila and Christian Plattners duels with their saxophones. I've had the pleasure of listening to Antti Sarpila a couple of times. If he is in your town, go and hear him play.

What do you think of Jumpin' at the Woodside with Antti Sarpila? Please comment.