By Angela Michael Medearis
Explores the dance traditions of African american citizens, from their origins within the expressive dances that the slaves introduced from Africa during the improvement of jazz and faucet to fashionable dance and ballet.
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Additional resources for Dance (African-American Arts)
These dances were also influenced by European dances. As both a dance pioneer and active performer, Dunham was a major influence in the development of techniques that are used in Broadway shows and by jazz dancers today. As such, she cleared the path for current and future black dancers and effectively raised public awareness of African-American dance. " The life and work of Katherine Dunham is well known in this country and throughout the world. Dunham took an active role in elevating the Western world's cultural appreciation of the beauty and power of African-American dance and its relationship to African dance traditions.
In 1923 Miller and Lyles wrote and produced Runnin' Wild. It featured and made famous a dance called the Charleston. The Charleston was originally a black folk dance that became one of the most popular social jazz dances of the 1920s. Its movements can be traced to specific dances in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and to the Ashanti people in the West African country of Ghana. Mentioned as early as < previous page page_33 next page > < previous page page_34 next page > Page 34 < previous page Josephine Baker, shown here doing the cancan, was famous for her performances at the Folies Bergères in France.
Although they were scattered throughout the Americas under the bondage of slavery, the people from Yorubaland of West Africa were especially good at preserving and adapting many of the religious practices of their ancestors. Some of these ceremonies include sango and egungun of Yorubaland in southwestern Nigeria; candomble of northeastern Brazil; voudon (voodoo) of Haiti; and santeria of Cuba (also found in Miami and New York). Among these different religious practices, dance is considered the way to open the door to the spirit world.