TIN PAN ALLEY PARADE
In the big cities during the Roaring Twenties and especially in New York, the musical life burst into full force.
Hundreds or thousands of composers and musicians composed day in, day out new melodies, songs, tunes, which have permanently changed the rest of the American and ultimately European music industry.
Tin Pan Alley is named after the neighbourhood where the new songs were played on pianos; these often unvoiced pianos sounded like tin pans were tumbled. Tin Pan Alley has become the cradle of modern music where cross-pollinating genial spirits draw richly from each other's worlds: Eastern European and Jewish music mingled with Italian music and jazz music, influences from gypsy music from the Balkans met lovely English love songs. An unprecedented development got started and eventually led to the music of today.
The music and dance in the 1920s reflected the exuberance and vibrancy of the urban influence. They were seized by the unusual and the free-spirited dances. With influences from Afro-American culture there were all kinds of variations in ragtime dance, the shimmy, the charleston, black bottom and with even more variations in the animal dances (including the grizzly bear dance, the turkey trot). The dances got their place in the vaudeville shows and musicals, think of Josephine Baker who introduced bold new styles but also Isadora Duncan and Ruth. Saint Dennis. Saint Dennis in particular was a modern dance pioneer who was part of this period with her expressionistic and experimental technique. This technique developed later in the glory days of American Social Dancing in the dancehalls (lindy hop, swing).
In short, a renaissance after the First World War. Not only fertile soil on which things developed in an innovative way, but also a fertile soil on which artistically generous use of each other's work was made, as a reaction and as a counter reaction. The multicultural city life translated into art.
With this performance Musica Extrema and the International Dance Theater want to pay tribute to the daredevils, the innovators, the madmen, the seekers, the changers, the wonder and the curiosity.
Tin Pan Alley is the second co-production of Musica Extrema and the International Dance Theater.