That music, you know. I just get carried away in it.
April 22, 2015 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Alice Barker is 102, but when she was young, she was a chorus dancer in Harlem. Watch and listen to more American vernacular music and dance at Celluloid Improvisation (autoplays swing music. via).
posted by ChuraChura (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I watched the video of Ms. Barker last night. Her reaction was interesting to me. The first time she watched herself dance, her face was blank. The next time through, she lit up and talked about herself and answered questions. I think the first time, she was just taking it all in.

I was also struck by her long, graceful fingers.
posted by harrietthespy at 2:14 PM on April 22, 2015

I loved this so much. The YouTube link includes a place you can send fan mail to her😊
posted by discopolo at 2:31 PM on April 22, 2015

I just got some dust in my eyes or something, because Ms. Barker reminded me so much of my Gran who died two years ago. Sometimes when you just see old people in the street, you can forget that once they were the young ones, full of dancing and joy - and laughing their heads off. But they were, and sometimes, like in this film, the young person shines out of the old person.
Ms Barker, you are a shining star!
posted by mumimor at 3:16 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
posted by asok at 3:25 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh man, midway through when they were returning I totally thought it was going to be that she'd passed away. I was SO RELIEVED to still see her (and for the note that she's still alive and well!). I was impressed by how much she could still see and remember, and how she gorgeously lit up when telling the story about dancing naked.
posted by TwoStride at 5:23 PM on April 22, 2015

I'd suggest checking out the 2006 documentary Been Rich All My Life (NPR story) about women who had been dancers in Harlem in the 1930s, and had reunited to dance again. (Previously on Ask about "Inspirational" Film Recommendations.)
posted by larrybob at 7:20 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

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