Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Lambeth Walk: First Video of "Trolling."

While reviewing my notes for my history midterm I distracted myself by glancing over The Atlantic, NYtimes, and Slate. Besides for catching live footage of the State of the Union address, I also checked out the arts section of each publication. Coincidentally a post off of Slate's history blog highlighted the Universal Newsreel edits of Triumph of the Will I was reviewing for my mid-term.

In 1941 this team of British film editors spliced Triumph of the Wil to sync Hitler, his legions of Nazis, and his mass of supporters with the Lambeth Walk. The song featured in the edited clip is from the musical Me and My Girl, and the dance originated from the Cockney subculture.

The Lambeth Walk adapted the American dances such as the foxtrot and the charleston after the popularization of the music genres ragtime, dixie, and then swing. With its "high kicks and broad gestures," as Slate Writer Rebecca Onion wrote, the Lambeth Walk became so widely accepted over other dances in Britain due to its domestic origins.

The greater historical significance of the dance demonstrated that people of all backgrounds and of all regions in England performed the dance, in spite of sectional and class differences. While the Walk originated from working class Londoners, the popularization of it was exemplified when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth performing the dance.

which spoke volumes after the Nazi party denounced the dance in 1939.

The Lambeth Walk was in direct contrast to the Nazi, highly regimented and unified marches, thus the dance is seen by historian Allison Abra as a democratic dance. Unlike the fascist march, no one was forced to dance, yet the Walk became so widespread through England.

Above all, the Universal Newsreel's splicing portrayed the Germans as not an unstoppable force, but a very laughable bunch during the height of the London bombings.


No comments:

Post a Comment