Feeling energetic today? Yes? Really? Could you keep up with this?
Scene from the film Hellzapoppin’ (1941)
William’s been posting up some stuff about jazz lately, and poking around on Youtube I happened to run across this clip.
The Swing era had the jitterbug, of course, but there was also the lindy hop, which took jazz dance to a whole different level.
The clip above comes from a 1941 madcap comedy called Hellzapoppin’, which was based on a 1938 New York stage play of the same name. The dance sequence features Whitey's Lindy Hoppers (aka the Harlem Congaroo Dancers), with choreography by Frankie Manning.
You have to get past the certain "Stepin Fetchit" quality it has to it, with the white characters showing up at the end to applaud their maids, cooks, and waitstaff, as if to say, “My, aren’t those colored boys and girls just swell dancers!” Just the same, for a piece of work done in 1941, I think it’s an amazing film sequence.