Sunday, June 9, 2019

Michael Brownstein writes


The people of this place
divided as they are 
can easily be replaced
by lowering of the bar

Lowering the bar? he asked
and what will that do?
If we raise it, said the other,
we still won’t have a clue.
Caribbean Dance Painting - Caribbean Scenes - Limbo by Wayne Pascall
Limbo -- Wayne Pascall

1 comment:

  1. Limbo dancers attempt to go under a horizontal limbo bar with their backs facing the floor. No part of their body is allowed to touch the bar, and no part other than their feet may touch the ground. Whoever knocks the bar off or falls is eliminated. Then the bar is lowered and the contest continues until only one person can get under. The dance originated in Trinidad as an event that took place over 9 nights at wakes. The bar was placed at the lowest possible height for dancers to go under and was gradually raised each night, signifying an emergence from death to life in Heaven. Reversing the traditional order, Julia Edwards turned the dance into a choreographed and competitive tourist attraction. She promoted the dance in the popular 1957 Robert Parrish film "Fire Down Below." In 1959 she added a flaming limbo bar to the routine and later introduced human bars formed by the limbs of other dancers. The "How low can you go" chant that usually accompanies the performance came from a 1962 song by Chubby Checker: "Limbo Rock" originated in 1960 on a bet that Billy Strange made, that in 5 minutes he could write a better song than the one playing on the radio; originally the only lyric was "What a monotonous melody" in every line. The Champs recorded an instrumental version in 1961, and Checker's manager Karl Mann (as "Jon Sheldon") added lyrics. It was #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks.

    Every limbo boy and girl
    All around the limbo world
    Gonna do the limbo rock
    All around the limbo clock

    Jack be limbo, Jack be quick
    Jack go unda limbo stick
    All around the limbo clock
    Hey, let's do the limbo rock

    Limbo lower now
    Limbo lower now
    How low can you go?

    First you spread your limbo feet
    Then you move to limbo beat
    Limbo ankolimboneee
    Bend back like a limbo tree

    Get yourself a limbo girl
    Give that chic a limbo whirl
    There's a limbo moon above
    You will fall in limbo love

    Don't move that limbo bar
    You'll be a limbo star
    How low can you go?


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