Andrew Ford – all round good guy

Andrew Ford – the lead ABC Radio National broadcaster on the world of music – seems like a remarkably nice guy. He just radiates good mental health. Talented, hard working, nice, modest. Daggy but just a tad – enough for it to be engaging rather than painful.

In addition to being one of Radio National’s freshest broadcasters, he’s also a composer. Every now and then he puts in the effort to make great radio docos on the history of music and he’s at it again. The first installment of Music and Fashion was on last Saturday. It was marvellous. Fascinating stuff about the evolution of modern dance beginning with the salacious volta in the fifteenth century, traversing through the scandalous waltz in the early nineteenth century to even more outrageous moves like the Tango.

Interesting fact. Ragtime introduced the African two beat which has been common to every major modern dance craze since, as opposed to the three beat of the European Waltz.

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Gummo Trotsky
2024 years ago

I have me doubts about that African two beat. But I’m not going to attempt anything like a rebuttal until I’ve had a chance to brush up on me basico. Assuming that Tango counts as a “major modern dance craze”.

And, incidentally, how the hell do you do a documentary about dance on the radio?

2024 years ago

When is the second installment?
The scandalous waltz? What about the blackbottom?
“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. Dance Marathons and the influential Lindy Hop emerge triumphant in the 1930s. Finally, the 1940s are distinguished by romantic Latin dances and feature film “aerial” athletics.”
Or perhaps the St Louis Shag “Fast and Flashy, St. Louis shag involves a lot of kicking and is sure to be noticed on the dance floor! This dance originated in St. Louis and is still danced there today. St. Louis Shag is danced to very fast swing music (approximately 180-220 beats per minute) with the leader and follower in a side by side position dancing the mirror opposite of one another. Fun and Aerobic, everyone enjoys St. Louis Shag.”
The Swing Glossary
From the Jitterbug (originally a racial slur) to the Charleston and the Shim Sham Shimmy.
A typical Charlestone routine: 1) Charleston Basic, 2) Forward & Back Charleston, 3) Basic With Kick, 4) Squat Charleston, 5) Knee Twitches, 6) Blackbottom, 7) Spank The Baby, 8) High Low Kicks, 9) Charleston Turns, 10) Scarecrow.