ilhc 2009 team division favs

2 09 2009

Videos of the team division are up on Youtube — Hooray! Thanks to youtubist (youtuber? youtubite? youtubian?) floridave1 for making it happen. He also seems to have had a great angle on the show.

I have two favorites from this competition and I’m sort of baffled that neither even placed in the top three. We’ll start with one of two routines brought by the One2Swing Jitterbugs.

Though parts are a little campy, I really enjoyed this one. For starters, it reminded me of a period in my own dancing where Traffic Jam was (ahem) “my jam” (as the kids say these days) and when I was really into the vintage goofball stuff like All the Cats Join In or Groovie Movie. On the micro level, nothing really revolutionary happens in it, mostly just campy acting at first and then decent basics towards the end. But, the routine really shines when you look at the big picture impact — tons of formation changes, well timed wave effects, fun costumes, and a lot of polish (uniform lines, clean air steps, etc.). I would be proud to see Lindy Hop represented by these guys in a Broadway show or on SYTYCD or something like that. Normally I cringe whenever those kinds of productions attempt to “do the lindy,” and I tell myself well…our dance just doesn’t really lend itself very well to that kind of format, but these guys pull it off. Well done Ben, Sheri, & co. FAVORITE PART: the kips that hit bum-bump around 3:44.

Next up we have a team from Sweden going by the name Top Notch. They were weird. I really liked them.

The weirdness starts around 0:01 where the girls are pretending to be mannequins. Ok, I think to myself, this will be a re-telling of the classic 80s documentary Mannequin or possibly Mannequin II: On the Move, told through the medium of dance. Then they drop that whole story line, never to return to it again, and start dancing to Take 5, a song that every Lindy Hopper has tried dancing to once or twice and thought, Oh man, am I zany or what! 5/4 time!? You so crazy Dave Brubeck! Then we generally dismiss it as a novelty and move on to music that actually feels good to dance to. However these guys manage to make it look really good — nice fluid movement, interesting artistic flourishes, lots of attention to details like lines and sychronization, and of course, every now and then as the dudes pass downstage center they unleash a simmeringly sexy John Oates-style mustache glare at the audience.

Rowr!

Rowr!

But the weirdness/awesomeness continues. The real swing music starts and we get plenty more interesting visuals, unique movements, solid dancing, and strange interludes like the moment of rage and the blowing like the wind. Yes, I was confused, but I was entertained. I think they might have placed higher had they not done the unnecessary glitter toss at the end. Or maybe if they had at least come out afterwards to help clean up, as the other teams were standing around waiting to perform while the event organizers were literally down on their knees trying to pick up the glitter with their bare hands. Aside from that, though, I thought this routine was lots of strange fun. FAVORITE PART: the monster mash (?) at 2:22. Just because, well, wtf?

If you’re interested in seeing the stuff that the judges liked better, you can check ’em here, here, and here in 1st, 2nd, 3rd order.

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