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Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop

Frankie Manning: Ambassador of Lindy Hop

by Frankie Manning, Cynthia Millman

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Publishers Weekly

Frankie Manning spread swing dancing's popularity throughout the world while touring with Whitey's Lindy Hoppers in the 1930s and '40s. Dance writer and swing dancer Millman conducted extensive interviews with Manning for a vivid account of his career. Manning became a star in Harlem's popular Savoy Ballroom with his unique style, including dancing at a sharp angle to the ground like a track runner, speed and musicality. In a dance competition, Manning astonished the crowd with the first-ever Lindy aerial, or air step (where the man sends his partner flying). Later Manning toured with jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and performed in several films, including Everybody Sings with Judy Garland. After a long hiatus from dancing, he was a consultant for Spike Lee's Malcolm X and coached a new generation of dancers in the swing dance revival of the '80s and '90s. While the first-person accounts of Manning's life capture his vibrancy, humor and charm, the narrative is interrupted by short sections of historical notes; their formality is at odds with Manning's ease and charisma. Still, this vivid memoir by one of swing dancing's innovators and stars is a must for lovers of dance, jazz and African-American history. 36 b&w illus. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher

"On behalf of all of the Hoofer’s, we thank you and salute you for every moment of truth, love and dedication translated to us all through your art form, your dance. Thank you Frankie Manning. I Love You!"
—Savion Glover

Product Details

Temple University Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Lindy hopper Frankie Manning won a 1989 Tony Award for his choreography in Black and Blue, was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts with a National Heritage Fellowship, and served as a consultant for and danced in Spike Lee's Malcolm X and Debbie Allen's Stompin' at the Savoy. Frankie's choreographic contributions to the lindy, his professional dance career with Whitey's Lindy Hoppers and the Congaroo Dancers, and his vital role in the swing dance revival have been widely chronicled in the news media, books, and documentaries, including Ken Burns's Jazz and an ABC News 20/20 profile. Now in his nineties, Frankie travels the world teaching the Lindy hop and sharing his riveting memories of dancing through the swing era.

Cynthia R. Millman taught dance and performed for over twenty-five years, including five years with the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers. She has studied and partnered with Frankie, and lectures with him on the history of the Lindy. A librarian at The Town School in Manhattan, Cynthia has contributed articles to Dance Magazine and The International Encyclopedia of Dance, and has served as a dance consultant on several documentaries.

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