October 15, 2021
The delightful Sw!ng Out is a throwback to the days when instead of liquor stores or banks on every corner, dance clubs dotted NYC streets--particularly in Harlem.
The spirited Caleb Teicher, salutes the grand dance ballrooms of the past in Sw!ng Out--an energetic Lindy Hop jam at the Joyce Theater.
Famous for it's integrated clientel and the home of the "Happy Feet" the Savoy Ballroom attracted film stars and Whitey's Lindy Hoppers--the most blockbuster talented dancers of their time. Back in the 1930's and 40's, the dance halls were open for business most of the day sporting some of the swingingest bands in the land including Chick Webb, Count Basie and Jimmie Lunceford.
At the Joyce dance club, clusters of dancers partner up: men with men, women with women, men and women -- not unlike the Savoy days when men easily popped up to dance together, showing off their stuff. Although less frequently, women danced together as well, but those pairings were less physical.
With the companionship of an upbeat, very live swing band, the music drives the dancing. Couples mix and match releasing soloists who toy with the music and at times "Trade Sixes" with band members like jazz musicians do in "call and response" riffs. This demands close listening and communication and can produce wildly inventive concoctions.
Composed of innumerable body types, the on-stage dancing family creates space for all who love to dance. After the bubbly first half, the second half is devoted to audience members eager to Lindy the night away on stage with a live band, top drawer dancers and unrivaled memories.
Avita Arce, Latasha Barnes, Nathan Bugh, Macy Sullivan, Caleb Teicher, and Eyal Vilner appear in the program as the "braintrust" with Teicher as director. Eyal Vilner is also responsible for the charts performed by the animated swing band.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis