[Dixielandjazz] Don't people dance anymore?

Charles Suhor csuhor at zebra.net
Fri Dec 3 10:51:39 PST 2004

Great report, Elezar. I didn't mean to suggest that nobody dances to 
OKOM, let alone that it isn't danceable, but that it's seldom on the 
radar for most people since their culture presents them with other 
musics for booty-shaking. It takes Steve's kind of activism and your 
taking to the streets to spread the infectious rhythm. It won't likely 
become a widely popular rage but it will put the music on more people's 
cognitive maps and in their dancin' pants.

Charlie Suhor

On Dec 3, 2004, at 9:40 AM, Elazar Brandt wrote:

> Shalom Jazz Fans,
> Here in Israel we have some traditional ballroom dancing, but not a 
> lot. There
> are dance studios that teach it, and there are some places to dance, 
> but usually
> at private parties. Some of our religious folks often don't do mixed 
> dancing in
> public. And other people just don't hear the music that much, which is 
> why
> Doctor Jazz is out there playing in the streets.
> What we do see is a lot, I mean a real lot of natural bodily responses 
> to the
> bounce of our music. It is a rare day when we do NOT see people in the 
> streets,
> of all ages and ethnic origins, doing some kind of dance as they walk 
> by and our
> music grabs them. Bodies seem to know how to groove with the bouncing 
> beat if
> their owners let them do it. We see elderly couples actually embrace 
> and dance
> together in the square in front of us. We see ultra-religious fellows 
> doing, or
> trying to do their more spiritual brand of dance to our beat. Young 
> folks
> saunter past stepping it out in clear time with our music.
> Once I was playing alone on banjo, and suddenly found a troupe of 8 
> dancers,
> apparently pros, doing a perfectly coordinated routine to the song I 
> was
> playing. Another time a tap dancer and his camera crew asked me for a 
> song to
> tap dance to. I don't remember what I played, but he improvised his 
> routine
> through the whole song. I heard it turned up on TV later. I probably 
> got a
> couple coins in my hat for my trouble. Oh, well.
> Many times people respond to the banjo by making the strumming motion. 
> I see
> this a lot, especially with teens and younger kids. I remember once a 
> group of
> about 8 or 10 soldiers passed by and all together held their rifles as 
> though
> they were banjos and began strumming. It was classic. If I only had a 
> camera!
> But I think my favorite was one Friday afternoon when our Dr Jazz trio 
> was
> playing downtown before Shabbat, and we were especially in the groove 
> and
> drawing a good crowd. Two little kids, a boy and a girl, who couldn't 
> have been
> more than 5 years old, held each other in nearly perfect form and 
> started doing
> ballroom dance style moves to our music. They continued through 
> several songs,
> maybe for more than 15 minutes, and became something of an attraction
> themselves. Who knows from where they ever even knew how to do it, but 
> they did,
> and it was one of the cutest things I've ever seen.
> There is indeed something timeless and classic about our music, 
> something that's
> good for the body and the soul. We need to get out our snake oil kits 
> and keep
> selling. We need to tell people what our music can do for them, and 
> then show
> them. Long live ... ehhh... whatever you call it... OKOM!
> Happy holidays,
> Elazar
> Doctor Jazz Band
> Jerusalem, Israel
> <www.israel.net/ministry-of-jazz>
> Tel: +972-2-679-2537
> P.S. Our CD, "Ben Yehuda Street Parade", is a fun and inexpensive gift 
> from
> Israel for your jazz loving friends and family. Ordering info and 
> sample clips
> on our website. Only $15 post-paid. Thank you.
> _______________________________________________
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list