Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Danceable Music, Foxtrot Meets Choro

Entertainment has always had a demand for danceable music. 20th Century popular music has tried to connect with this demand creating various and changing dance patterns through different music styles - tango, maxixe, ragtime, charleston and fox-trot, to name but a few. With the introduction of ragtime around 1900 a new craze among the dancing public was born in the US - the originator of classic ragtime, Scott Joplin, was aware of this, one of his compositions, 'The Ragtime Dance - A Ragtime Two-Step' (1902), points to this and moreover has instruction of the appropiate steps included in the score.

The foxtrot is a ballroom dance which is often said to take its name from its inventor, the vaudeville actor Harry Fox; however the exact origins are unclear. At its inception, the foxtrot was originally danced to ragtime. Today, the dance is customarily accompanied by the same big band music to which swing is also danced. Here's a small demonstration of the foxtrot as danced in the 1920s

The foxtrot also reached Brazil and became a part of high society dancing events in the 1920s and even choro musicians had to cope with this new dancing style. It's an interesting fact that renown choro musicians like João Pernambuco actually made compositions that were labeled as 'foxtrot' - his 'Rosa Carioca' (recorded 1929) documents this. The tune as played by João Pernambuco accompanied by Zezinho is available during Fabio Zanon's program devoted to the music of João Pernambuco at Rádio Cultura, to be reached here

Another choro guitarist, Rogério Guimarães, also was inspired by the foxtrot and recorded his composition 'Uma noite na Urca' 1928 for Odeon, labeled as foxtrot. You can hear the music in streaming audio from Instituto Moreira Salles by clicking here

The foxtrot seems to have a long tradition among choro musicians, in 1955 Abel Ferraira recorded a choro , 'Acariciando', played in the danceable foxtrot style, you may listen to the audio by clicking here

To end this small entry, here's an entertaining vue of some of the various dances that emerged during 'The Roaring Twenties' - enjoy!



Anonymous Hans said...

Thanks for the great, sometimes hilarious fragments. Can you imagine that my wife and I have danced foxtrots up to, what we call in Holand, the gold level?

My goodness !1


14 May, 2009  
Anonymous music business said...

those are really great videos...have watched plenty of it in youtube..

15 May, 2009  

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