Steppin' on the Blues : The Visible Rhythms of African American Dance

Overview

"Steppin' on the Blues" explores not only the meaning of dance in African American life but also the ways in which music, song, and dance are interrelated in African-American culture. Dance as it has emanated from the black community is a pervasive, vital, and distinctive form of expression—its movements speak eloquently of African American values and aesthetics. Beyond that it has been, finally, one of the most important means of cultural survival. Former dancer Jacqui Malone throws a fresh spotlight on the cultural history of black dance, the
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Overview

"Steppin' on the Blues" explores not only the meaning of dance in African American life but also the ways in which music, song, and dance are interrelated in African-American culture. Dance as it has emanated from the black community is a pervasive, vital, and distinctive form of expression—its movements speak eloquently of African American values and aesthetics. Beyond that it has been, finally, one of the most important means of cultural survival. Former dancer Jacqui Malone throws a fresh spotlight on the cultural history of black dance, the Africanisms that have influenced it, and the significant role that vocal harmony groups, black college and university marching bands, and black sorority and fraternity stepping teams have played in the evolution of dance in African American life. From the cakewalk to the development of jazz dance and jazz music, all Americans can take pride in the vitality, dynamism, drama, joy, and uncommon singularity with which African-American dance has gifted the world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252065088
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Series: Folklore and Society Series
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 "Gimme de Kneebone Bent": Music and Dance in Africa 9
2 "Keep to the Rhythm and You'll Keep to Life": Meaning and Style in African American Vernacular Dance 23
3 Mocking and Celebrating: Freedom of Expression in Dance during Slavery 37
4 Black Dance on the Road: Minstrelsy and Traveling Shows 51
5 Dancing Singers and Singing Dancers: Black Vernacular Dance on Stage, 1890-1940 70
6 Jazz Music in Motion: Dancers and Big Bands 91
7 "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime": The Vocal Choreography of Cholly Atkins 111
8 "W'en de Colo'ed Ban' Comes Ma'chin' down de Street": From African Processions to New Orleans Second Lines 127
9 The FAMU Marching 100: From Ballpark Bleachers to the Champs-Elysees 147
10 African American Mutual Aid Societies: Remembering the Past and Facing the Future 167
11 Stepping: Regeneration through Dance in African American Fraternities and Sororities 187
Notes 215
Index 253
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