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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Fortunato

Solid Sender – February 15th, 2016

Frankie Manning on Broadway

See our Featured Video below: Frankie Manning‘s Wednesday Night Hop for “Black and Blue“

Just a few years after Frankie Manning retired from the Post Office, when the momentum of the swing dance revival was just starting to build, he was approached by two Broadway producers who were bringing the Paris production of “Black and Blue” to Broadway. They had heard thatFrankie was an original dancer of the Harlem style of the 1930s and they wanted him to show their dancers the authentic movement. Frankie didn’t think the Broadway dancers could pick up Lindy hop in one class, so he decided to show them a bunch of the jazz steps that were popular in the day, which he pulled together in a little routine. 

The producers, Hector Orezzoli and Claudio Segovia, were so impressed with the class thatFrankie gave the dancers that they invited him to create a similar routine to appear in the show itself. This is how the choreography for Wednesday Night Hop was born. The resulting number was so exciting and unique that it was chosen to open the second act of the show.

“Black and Blue” was a hit on Broadway. Frankie Manning and the other choreographers, by Henry LeTang, Cholly Atkins, and Fayard Nicholas were honored with a Tony award in 1989 for their outstanding work.


The 2016 Ambassador Program

The Frankie Manning Foundation is very proud to announce the winners of the 2016 Ambassador scholarships toHerrang Dance Camp in Sweden. We had excellent applicants this year and the decisions were difficult. Thank you to everyone who participated.    


Herrang Ambassadors for summer 2016:

Hussam Jarayseh – Beit Sahur, Palestine Krunal Waghela – Mumbai, India LaTasha Barnes – Washington DC, USA  Shelby Johnson – Dallas TX, USA  Weiming Zeng – Beijing, China

Ambassador scholarships are awarded to dancers who will carry on Frankie Manning’s mission of “spreading the joy of lindy hop.” Our hope is that they will bring new populations into our community from all around the world.  This is now the sixth year of our Ambassador scholarships program.

In addition to the Herrang Dance Camp, we’re planning to partner with the following events in 2016:

  1. LindyFest

  2. Camp Jitterbug

  3. Beantown

  4. The International Lindy Hop Championships

  5. Swing Out New Hampshire

  6. Orient Lindy Express – Istanbul

The Frankie Manning Foundation had a nice surprise as 2015 came to an end: Two of our Ambassadors were in a performance chosen among the Top Ten Dance Performances of the year in the Bay Area. They were chosen among luminaries in the fields of ballet and modern dance, such as the San Francisco Ballet, Twyla Tharp and Paul Taylor. And why not? We hope that our Ambassadors will be “spreading the joy of Lindy hop” and what better way than in a notable performance. 

Traci Bartlow, artistic director of Starchild Dance in Oakland CA attended Herrang in our first summer, 2011. After meeting Ambassador Ray Davis, who went to Herrang in 2013, she invited him to join her performances of the history of urban dance. 

“The excitement surrounding Starchild Dance is over its rare, immersive ‘dance-through-time’ experience, showcasing African roots and nearly 100 years of urban dances coming together. From Lindy Hop to Hip-Hop, audiences are enlightened to the authentic jazz and social dances that rose from the African American experience of the 1920s and gave birth to today’s urban dance styles.” Dance Informa

Traci Bartlow, artistic director of Starchild Dance and Ray Davis

Featured Video Frankie Manning‘s Wednesday Night Hop from Broadway hit “Black andBlue

The Broadway hit “Black and Blue” garnered a number of Tony nominations and awards, including the prize for best choreography. This video shows the number that FrankieManning choreographed to Andy Kirk’sWednesday Night Hop, one of two pieces he contributed to the show.

Featured Song

Andy Kirk – Wednesday Night Hop – YouTube

Jazz violinist Claude “Fiddler” Williams, who played in the original Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy, also played in the orchestra for the Broadway musicalBlack and Blue some 50 years later!

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