This rare cultural treasure, The Spirit Moves (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) is now available on DVD. This 2-hour film documentary is the most extensive video encyclopedia of from 1900 to the 1980s. The Spirit Moves traces the evolution of African American dance in urban America. It was recorded and created over a period of thirty years by Mura Dehn, a European filmmaker who recognized and recorded the vital contribution of African American dance to the Jazz scene and thus, to our cultural heritage.. The chronicle of these 20th century dance fads is essential for dance and music research, as well as for the exploration of our social and cultural history. Shown with its original editing, this DVD contains the only footage of this kind still in existence. The Spirit Moves is a rare and vital social document providing a living record of the men and women who forged American social dance styles into an improvisational art form. Previously, it was only available for viewing at the Dance Collection of the New York Public Library, or on VHS to a select group of swing dance aficionados. The Spirit Moves is such an important archive that Dancetime Publications is now making it available to libraries, schools, dance aficionados, and scholars throughout the United States and across the globe. The following three DVDs are also available individually.
DVD 1: Jazz Dance from the Turn of the Century to 1950
Filmed in a studio setting, Part 1 contains demonstrations of ragtime and jazz dances by artists at the Savoy including James Berry, Pepsi Bethel, Teddy Brown, Sandra Gibson, Leon James, Al Minns and Frankie Manning. Dances include the Cakewalk and Charleston Black Bottom, Susie Q, Shake Blues, Gutbucket Blues, Trunky Doo, Big Apple and some aerial Lindy Hop.
Narrator: Mura Dehn. 45 minutes.
CHAPTER ONE: RAGTIME JAZZTIME: Charleston 1920’s - 1930’sCHAPTER TWO: BLUES
CHAPTER THREE: SAVOY ROUTINES
DVD 2: Savoy Ballroom of Harlem, 1950's
Filmed at the Savoy Ballroom in the 1950's, Part 2 features footage of dancing by the general public. This is important because the 'public' includes Al Minns and Leon James. Part 2 includes Bebop, Lindy, Shim Sham, Charleston, and an aerial Lindy contest for the Harvest Moon Ball Championships.. 30 minutes.
CHAPTER ONE: LADIES FREE NIGHT
CHAPTER TWO: SAVOY CHAMPIONS
DVD 3: Postwar Era, 1950s-1980s
A Survey of 100 Years of Social Dance Created by Black Americans. Filmed at P.S. 28 (Brooklyn) and at the Palladium (New York), Part 3 features dances from the ‘Bebop Era’ the Flying Home Harlem Style, Bebop improvisations, the Mambo and an Applejack Challenge, danced by Teddy Brown, Sugar Sullivan, Jack Asquiew, Leroy Appens, Tandaleo and Jackie, plus others. A Jazz Document By MURA DEHN and HERBERT MATTER. 40 minutes.