Time for an update! This week has been super crazy and all over the place, but I got some good research done this week. I decided to take my infographic a little different way. I’m going to stay with Charleston Dance, but I’m going to do more of a Did you know style. As I have been doing my research I have found lots of fun facts about Charleston and Swing in general that I think would be fun to display.
Some facts I found include:
- Charleston became popular in the 1920’s as part of the Jazz era featuring music, speakeasies, and flappers.
- The dance originated from a group of African Americans who lived on a island off the coast of Charleston SC in about 1903.
- It’s danced to ragtime jazz at a fast-paced 4/4 timed rhythm.
- Charleston was a physical representation of that generations uninhibited enthusiasm they wanted to express.
- Although it was around before the 1920’s, it didn’t become popular until 1923 when it appeared in the Broadway show “Runnin’ Wild” to the song “The Charleston” by James P. Johnson
- Charleston was most associated with the Flappers (rebellious young women who wore short dresses, bobbed their hair and listened to Jazz), and was considered scandalous because of it’s high kicks and reckless abandon.
- Charleston can be danced solo, as a couple, or in groups.
- Charleston was banned in some social halls during the 20’s because it was considered too scandalous and exuberant
- The iconic image of the 20’s is a Flapper dancing Charleston, the most clear icon of any generation
- There are many different genre’s – usually named after a time period. The 20’s 30’s and 40’s dance styles are the most common.
- 20’s Solo:
- a very showy, fast-paced form. Puncuated with moves that aren’t actually Charleston, but improvisations of other dance forms.
- Often danced in large groups, similar to a mosh pit in a rock concert
- 20’s Partner:
- same footwork as the Solo version, but arms and torso are in closed position – or the traditional dance position.
- Because of the close proximity, the steps are kept smaller than in solo
- 30’s and 40’s
- More open than the 20’s. 3 additional partner holds – Jockey (same as closed, but both dancers are turned to face line of dance), Side by Side (partners are next to each other with only one arm connected, the other following the style of solo Charleston), and Tandem (both partner does the same steps, facing the same way – one partner in front of the other)
- Other additions include: Hand to Hand, Jonny’s Drop, Freezes, and Savory Kicks
- Although other dances have had their 15 minutes of fame, Charleston is the only one to have such a widespread influence, infecting an entire generation in such a way that 100 years later we still think of Flappers doing the Charleston when picturing the 1920’s.
- Many non-dancing jobs of the day required black employees to be competent to dance or teach the Charleston in order to be hired. Often advertisements looking for a maid, cook, or gardener would include the stipulation “Must be able to Charleston!”
A couple classic movies that have scenes of Charleston include:
- It’s a Wonderful Life – the Pool Scene
- Singing in the Rain – “All I do Is Dream of You” – Charleston like dance
- The Song and Dance Man
- Mary Poppins – “Step in Time”
I’m excited to start designing and organizing everything to where it might make sense! I also want to follow the style of the 1920’s for my infographic design.
My edited timeline for this project goes as follows:
Oct. 14 (Wed) – Sketch layout and design
Oct. 17 (Sat)– Vectorize design
Oct. 21 (Wed)– Add Color
Oct. 24 (Sat)– Clean up and revise vector graphics
Oct. 26 (Mon)– Project finished for review and refinement
Oct. 28 (Wed)– Present Infographic