Showing posts with label Louisiana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Louisiana. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi gras

No, the screen grab from my browser bookmarks and tabs bars does not create juxtapositions that are so bizarre as they may seem. In honor of Mardi Gras, I link Schubert's dancing Vienna, about to become very quiet during Lent, with the Franco/Spanish/German Catholic historical cultures in Louisiana, not much influenced yet in Schubert's lifetime by their new membership in the United States.

Louisiana itself became a state in 1812, well before the territories to its east (including Florida); most of the remaining lands of the Louisiana Purchase had to wait quite a bit longer. For nearly a decade, Louisiana was the westernmost state in the Union.

The traditional couple and group dances brought to New Orleans by Europeans are now preserved mainly by their descendants as Cajun music and dance. The related style of dancing known as Zydeco apparently originated in black communities. Its "classic" form is a leisurely looking (but difficult to learn) 8-beat shuffle, but the many (!) YouTube videos show mainly variants of 6- or 8-beat swing (rooted in Lindy Hop).