Jerry at has sparked an interesting discussion about Nick’s dancing over at Wandering & Pondering. Jerry’s criticisms are subtle and cleverly argued and I agree with much of what he says.
When I watch more recent clips of Nick dance Lindy Hop he seems to be fading into the background and playing more of a supporting role to his partner. In the following performance from the 2009 Korea Swing Festival I barely notice what Nick is doing because my attention is focused on Carla.
I think Nick has far more stage presence in the 2003 clip below but I find the ‘look at me’ stuff slightly jarring especially the spin at 0.18 (noted that this a Jack & Jill contest).
I also couldn’t agree more with Jerry’s follow up post ‘The Line’. There is very little informed dance criticism within the Lindy Hop and I think the community is the poorer for it. Dancers performing at international events should expect some fairly harsh criticism of their pieces. It’s a given that these people are excellent dancers – they wouldn’t have been invited to perform or compete if they weren’t – but it’s the small things that make the difference between a good and great performance.
For those of us who are social dancers or have no formal dance training it’s often hard to pinpoint why we like or dislike a certain performance, for example Dogpossum describes this routine by Syke and Frida as ‘fairly ok’ and I couldn’t agree more but I can’t really explain why. The routine certainly doesn’t make me feel excited to watch it. Reading informed criticism opens your eyes to aspects of the dance that you might not have appreciated before and I hope Jerry (and other bloggers) will continue to put their heads above the parapet and analyse dancers in this way.