Review Of "Dance Black America" By Dance Horizons Video

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Taped in performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1984 by C. Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker with Daniel Dwakins, this program presents an overview of some major individuals and styles instrumental in establishing and developing the African-American perspective in American theatrical dance. The 12 performances included range from interpretations of traditional African dances (such as Chuck Davis's "Lenjen" and Katherine Dunham's "Shango"), to tap with Chuck Green, Lindy Hop with Mama Lu Parks, and modern with the Alvin Ailey Company's performance of Louis Johnson's "Fontessa and Friends," and Garth Fagan's "From Before." The tape is organized in a loosely chronological fashion and moves fluidly from one style to another. Brief backstage conversations with performers and choreographers along with narration by Geoffrey Holder provide additional information and encourage the viewer's personal engagement. The camerawork preserves, for the most part, a sense of the original choreography; lighting and sound are not compromised in the live performance situation. Historical footage is mixed sensitively with material from this performance. Accompanying biographic and bibliographic written material or further development of such information on screen would enchance the educational value of this tape. A good introductory overview for all libraries.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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