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Jazz DanceA History of the Roots and Branches$
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Lindsay Guarino and Wendy Oliver

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049298

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049298.001.0001

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The Transmission of AfricanAmerican Concert Dance and American Jazz Dance

The Transmission of AfricanAmerican Concert Dance and American Jazz Dance

Chapter:
(p.164) 22 The Transmission of AfricanAmerican Concert Dance and American Jazz Dance
Source:
Jazz Dance
Author(s):

Gill Wright Miller

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813049298.003.0022

What connects African-American concert dance and jazz dance? On the one hand, both forms derive from the same root: African vernacular dance. It is easy to identify elements of African aesthetics in both genres. John Perpener contends that African-American concert dance was created to “effect socio-political change for African-American people, bring together aesthetic and cultural elements that had, previously, been posed as polar opposites, forge a positive identity for black people in the midst of a hostile environment, express a contemporary ethos, and create work that was multi-vocal, articulating simultaneously different worldviews.” Jazz dance, on the other hand, has usually been seen as a form of entertainment. Pearl Primus, Talley Beatty, Alvin Ailey, Chuck Davis, Diane McIntyre, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar are African-American concert dance artists who are discussed within the chapter.

Keywords:   African aesthetic, African-American concert dance, Alvin Ailey, Jazz dance, Pearl Primus, Talley Beatty, Vernacular dance

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