Prague's chance to swing into action
There has been an almost endless train of music and dance festivals held throughout the Czech Republic over the course of the past year. The 3rd Annual Festival of Swing music took place last weekend in Prague to full houses, but this weekend the Narodni Dum in Namesti Miru is to host an event where the audience will have the option of getting up and dancing to the music! In a town where jazz is ever popular, this event offers a unique opportunity to travel back to a time when jazz was at its heyday. Pavla Navratilova reports:
Swing music should be played for people to dance to. As it's the lightest form of jazz, it's difficult to listen to swing without tapping your foot or swaying your hips. The opportunity to dance to a live Big Band ensemble in a classical ballroom such as you can find in the Narodni Dum is a unique opportunity nowadays. And this is precisely what organizer Karel Stiefel has planned for Saturday night in Prague.
"After the success of the three-day Festival of Swing Music in early November, we decided to present another similar event in the form of a ballroom dance. All the ballrooms in the Narodni Dum will be cleared to make room for the Swing Ball, and a roster of live bands will perform music specifically geared towards dancing. The Swing Ball will also be honoured with a presentation of various dance steps, so those of you who already know how to swing will have the chance to learn some new moves, but beginners will also be encouraged to learn something new!"
I also asked Karel Steifl what kind of people he expects to turn up for the event.
"It is geared towards both those who remember and were young when swing music first became popular in the 1940s and 1950, people who are still young at heart; as well as young people today who realize that swing music is a classical form of jazz that can be both listened and danced to. Really, it's for anyone who is interested in dancing, or just enjoys music."
And for those interested in jiving at Narodni Dum's Swing Ball, it is happening this Saturday night, November the 11th.