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The Charleston is a style of jazz/swing dance that was popularized in the US and Europe during the 1920s. On YouTube, a classic footage of Al Minns & Leon James performing the dance has spawned a series of remix videos, typically dubbed with modern techno and electronica music.
The B&W footage of Al Minns & Leon James’ performance was originally recorded at the Savoy Ballroom in the 1950s and later featured in The Spirit Moves: A History of Black Social Dance on Film (1983).
The first remix version was uploaded by YouTube user charlesfondue on May 11, 2006. Titled “charleston style,” the video shows Minns & James’ dance footage dubbed with Daft Punk’s “Around The World”. As of January 2013, this video has been viewed 4.3 million times.
The Charleston is a step & swing dance that was often associated with Flappers during the Roaring Twenties. The steps are thought to have originated with the “Jay-Bird”, a similar style of folk dance popularized earlier in the African-American communities in Charleston, South Carolina. However, its mainstream breakthrough came with the Broadway show Runnin’ Wild (1923) and was further developed by influential Harlem dancers like Al Minns & Leon James. Today, Charleston beat still remains relevant in the world of modern dance, especially through recent revival of Lindy Hopping in the 80s and 90s.
Marked by its similarities with more modern dance styles, some YouTube users responded with their own “old meets new” remixes using techno/electronica.
Left: Jumpstyle version | Right: Do The Charleston
Left: Kortatu – Sarri Sarri | Right; Spanish punk band Baldin Bada – Ibilaldia
Left: Cake Song from LazyTown | Right: Korean rap group 1tyme – Hot
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