Sunday, May 27, 2012

2010 Camden, NJ Jimmy Buffett Tailgate Limbo Girls

Limbo is a traditional popular dance contest that originated on the island of Trinidad. The dance originated as an event that took place at wakes in Trinidad and Tobago, and was popularized by dance pioneer Julia Edwards (known as the First Lady of Limbo) and her company which appeared in several films, in particular, "Fire Down Below" (1957) and toured widely in the Caribbean, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa in the 1960s and beyond. A film "Julia and Joyce" was released in 2010 by Trinidadian/American dance researcher/choreographer Sonja Dumas which features the evolution of the Limbo and the contribution of Julia Edwards to the explosion of its popularity.

Traditionally, limbo dance began at the lowest possible bar height and the bar was gradually raised, signifying a emergence from death into life. In its adaptation to the world of entertainment, troupes began reversing the traditionally order, and Julia Edwards added a number of features that are now considered standard, such as human 'bars', formed by the limbs of other dancers, and the use of fire in the performance of limbo. Limbo dancers generally move and respond to a number of specific Afro-Caribbean drum patterns. As Limbo gained popularity as a tourist activity and a form of entertainment, pop music emerged using Caribbean rhythms to respond to the emerging craze in the United States (one major example is the song "Limbo Rock" recorded by Chubby Checker), from which emerged the popular quote that is associated with limbo that says "How low can you go?". Limbo was also brought into the mainstream by Trinidadian Calypsonian, Brigo (Samuel Abrahams) with his popular soca song "Limbo Break".

Thanks to Shawn C. for the great pictures!

Susquehanna Bank Center
Camden, NJ

1 comment:

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