ILHC 2020 Round Up
The International Lindy Hop Championships has long been the stage where Swing dance Greats and future-Greats have tripped the light fantastic and showcased supposedly the very best examples of Swing Dancing. In a year that forced much of the world to do even the most basic things differently, ILHC was no exception.
The coronavirus pandemic's effect on Swing events* is, or will/could be, I think, a positive one. ILHC is a case in point, an contest entry would usually set you back a tidy sum, meaning some places are woefully under- represented. But THIS year: 2020, meant the event was more accessible than perhaps it's ever been, you didn't need to fly to the States to compete- you could do so from your little corner of the Map, and honestly it's sort of wonderful. Whilst there were things to miss: an excitable crowd, shoes flying off, that epic moment where the dancers and the music spontaneously combust, etc; We got to see dancers on their home turf, and some real leaps and bounds into how video can really enhance a dance routine and the experience of attending an event. I hope the organisers consider keeping some of the remote elements in future events (maybe Mersey Swing could enter next year?!)
And so, may I humbly present a few of my personal highlights from ILHC 2020! Please do check out the other entries, and share your favourites in the Mersey Swing discussion group so we can all enjoy it with you!
Milano Swing Team
I mean, talk about story telling! Epic Aerials, partner swaps and a great choice of tunes- hold on to your socks, and join me: "Wait, WHAT?!" don't forget you can double tap to take it back 10s so you can work out what just happened! Great job Milano Swing Team!
Swing Límites (Argentina)
I love a fresh take on a classic routine, and what a routine to pick- this is a BOSS Big Apple! They do a crazy wheel thing in the back at one point- I don't know how it works, but I want a go!
Maria Ferrer & Aurélien Darbellay
So, of course I got caught in a rabbit hole watching these ILHC vids- and it was Maria and Aurélien that got me there. We've had the pleasure of hosting them twice in Liverpool and we can't wait to get them back. This routine brought me so much JOY- after months of being unable to face even the thought of dancing, this was a very much welcome tonic.
The Video Showcase Category
Whilst the usual categories were all static shots, this was an opportunity to show how creative filmmaking can really bring something cool to dancing. It was like a dancing travel show and I recommend checking out all the other entries (and lining up your next trip?!)
Michael Tan & Natasha Shevchenko
Obviously, there are tons of good video content for ILHC 2020- that's true every year, and every year one of my favourite categories to watch is the Junior Division, and this year is no exception. I said it earlier and I'll say it again, I hope the organisers consider keeping some of the remote entry format. In these three entries, there's collaboration across contriest and continents, effort and dedication to learning choreography- and joy. Show them your support and give all the videos a watch (there's only 3).