The act of mentioning the names of famous acquaintances in the midst of conversation can be taken as being a show off. Others can get turned off or star struck (both bad).
There was a time when performers’ biographies especially in the tap dance and jazz music worlds were full of name dropping. Who someone had learned from or played with spoke to the quality of content they had inherited and the trust of the community they had been given. This was multiplied if the names on the lists where intergenerational.
Today biographies are filled with what performers have done. Not where they came from. Maybe that’s the way it should be. If you have done a particular show, you should be trustworthy. Right?
But is a series of accomplishments enough to ensure that when these performers are brought to teach that they are continuing the lineage, upholding the standard, and sharing contributions/content in the right context?
If not, the social fabric which is the foundation upon which trust is built begins to fracture – especially when talking about oral traditions. So here’s to name dropping, getting the details right, encouraging people in the search, and remembering and sharing the history that you (and maybe you alone) carry.