We are able to offer this special archival dance film footage that reflects American social dance from 1897 to 1948. America Dances! 1897-1948: A Collector’s Edition of Social Dance in Film shows primary sources for research online! This 75-minute collection includes more than 60 social dance excerpts from newsreels, instructional films, silent films, and feature films. It is a “primary source” encyclopedia! The film retrospective spans the panorama from average Americans dancing in newsreels to top quality performers who have left a dance legacy of exemplary moves across the ballroom floor. The historical retrospective provides an engrossing record of our changing dance trends, expertise, clothing, and taste from the first part of the 20th century. It records some of the pivotal dance moments of our history. The improvisational base for 20th century social dance begins with wild cakewalk/animal dance fads. The 1920s explodes the limits of social dance in the Blackbottom and Charleston. Poignant Dance Marathons and prize- winning Lindy Hop contests emerge triumphant in the 1930s. Finally, the 1940s are distinguished by romantic Latin dances and feature film “aerial” athletics. Special highlights in the collection include elegant performances from the silent film era by Irene and Vernon Castle (the role models for modern ballroom dance), Blackbottom clips demonstrating colloquial roots, newsreels showing Charleston contests, excruciating couple dancing in the interminable dance marathons, and a variety of the finest clips available for the show-stopping Lindy Hop, celebrated by the renown Whiteys Lindy Hoppers!. This is a collectible treasure, to be preserved for future generations, and ideal for viewing again and again.
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