Swing is an originally African-American artform of music and dance that reached its peak of popularity from mid 1930s to early 1940s. Its roots can be traced back to (West-)African dances and music, within the early jazz of New Orleans, and just as much in swing music. The epicentre of swing was the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, New York from late 1920s on until well into the 50s.
Free-spirited and joyful, swing was the antidote to the hardship the African-American community was facing everyday. Swing was their creation of a safe space, it embodied freedom and self-expression, a place to be your own person. Swing music giants like Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Teddy Wilson or Fats Waller as well as dancers like Al Minns, Leon James, Norma Miller, Mable Lee or Frankie Manning were manifesting this expression of sheer joy and authenticity to its fullest. The phenomenon they created is truly unique and a treasure to be kept alive and swinging.
I am Johanna Neubert, a dancer from Berlin. "The Vintage Dance Adventure" is my attempt to spread the joys and values of swing, with deepest respect for its history, roots and culture of origin, which is Black culture. Sharing the essence of swing as best as I can is what drives my work. I try to convey that special mixture swing offers: its freedom, its vitality, its joy, and its deeply musical, rhythmical, expressive spirit.