By Thomas F. Defrantz
Few will dispute the profound effect that African American track and flow has had in American and international tradition. "Dancing Many Drums" explores that impact via a groundbreaking choice of essays on African American dance background, thought and perform. In so doing, it reevalautes "black" and "African American" as either racial and dance different types. Abundantly illustrated, the quantity comprises photographs of a wide selection of dance varieties and performers, from ring shouts, vaudeville and social dances to expert dance businesses and Hollywood motion picture dancing. Bringing jointly problems with race, gender, politics, heritage and dance, "Dancing Many Drums" levels generally, together with discussions of dance guide songs, the blues aesthetic, and Katherine Dunham's arguable ballet approximately lynching, "Southland". furthermore, there are photograph essays: the 1st on African dance in manhattan by way of famous dance photographer Mansa Mussa, and one other on 1934 "African opera" "Kykunkor, or the Witch Woman".
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Extra info for Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance
As I’ve argued, the category has to occupy several discursive spaces simultaneously, deﬁned at least by who is speaking and to whom. Surely scholars have to be willing to deﬁne their use of the term if we are to move toward a more complex rendering of the material it may contain. ’’ 32 While ‘‘African American dance’’ may seem as equivocal as ‘‘black dance,’’ its linguistic origins are not so clearly politicized along the lines of white spectatorship of Africanist performance. 33 Here I intend for the term to accommodate practice, history, and theoretical hallmarks of perfor- : mance as they are realized by African diaspora dancers and others concerned with diasporic forms.
When that occurs, the mind is taken for a ride even before it is aware of wings beneath it. That reality, as much as any other, raises questions about the alleged mind–body dichotomy. In any case, 41 42 / 1 : threats and ridicule, even when backed by brute force, were not always a match for dance, which at times swept along participants even happily. In a culture in which dance is highly valued, its basic ingredients are not likely to be forgotten, at least as long as one maintains lucidity.
Dissertation is the sole extant monograph devoted to Primus. D. dissertation, Florida State University, 1984). 50. This listing, of course, is in no way exhaustive. 51. See ﬁg. on pp. 24–25 (‘‘Booty Control’’) for an attempt at criticism that acknowledges cultural underpinnings of work by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and the Urban Bush Women. 52. Allen, ‘‘The Great American ‘Black Dance’ Mystery,’’ 287. 53. Banes and Szwed’s article originally appeared in Performance Matters, no. 27 (winter 1995–96): 59–79.