This book explores Black British dance from a number of previously-untold perspectives. Bringing together the voices of dance-artists, scholars, teachers and choreographers, it looks at a range of performing arts from dancehall to ballet, providing valuable insights into dance theory, performance, pedagogy, identity and culture. It challenges the presumption that Blackness, Britishness or dance are monolithic entities, instead arguing that all three are living networks created by rich histories, diverse faces and infinite future possibilities. Through a variety of critical and creative essays, this book suggests a widening of our conceptions of what British dance looks like, where it appears, and who is involved in its creation.
1. Narratives in Black British Dance – An Introduction.2. “I don’t do Black-dance, I am a Black dancer”; Namron.3. Dance Britannia: the impact of global shifts on dance in Britain; Christy Adair and Ramsay Burt.4. Negotiating African Diasporic identity in Dance: Brown Bodies Creating and Existing in the British Dance Industry; Tia-Monique Uzor.5. Tracing the evolution of black representation in ballet and the impact on black British dancers today; Sandie Bourne.6. In-the-betweeness: Decolonising and re-inhabiting our dancing; Adesola Akinleye and Helen Kindred.7. Trails of Ado: Kokuma’s Cultural Self-Defense; Thea Barnes.8. Moving tu Balance: An African Holistic Dance as a vehicle for personal development from a Black British perspective; Sandra Golding.9. ‘Why I am not a fan of the Lion King: Ethically-informed Approaches to the Teaching and Learning of South African Dance Forms in Higher Education in the United Kingdom; Sarahleigh Castelyn.10. Performativity of Body Painting: Symbolic Ritual as Diasporic Identity; Chikukwango Cuxima-Zwa.11. Dancehall: a Continuity of Spiritual, Corporeal Practice in Jamaican Dance; H Patten.12. Our Ethiopian Connection: Embodied Ethiopian Culture as a tool in Urban-Contemporary Choreography; RAS Mikey (Michael) Courtney.13. Reflections: Snapshots of dancing home, 1985, 2010 and 2012; Hopal Romans.14. Battling Under Britannia’s Shadow: UK Jazz Dancing in the 1970s and ‘80s; Jane Carr.15. Caribfunk Technique: A new feminist/ womanist futuristic technology in Black dance studies in Higher Education; A’Keitha Carey.16. More Similarities than Differences: Searching for New Pathways; Beverley Glean & Rosie Lehan.17. Epistemology of the weekend: Youth dance theatre; Hopal Romans, Adesola Akinleye, & Michael Joseph.18. Transatlantic Voyages: Then and Now; Anita Gonzalez.
Adesola Akinleye is Senior Dance Lecturer at Middlesex University, UK. She is a practice-based scholar and choreographer, living transnationally and writing and creating performance work internationally.
This book explores Black British dance from a number of previously-untold perspectives. Bringing together the voices of dance-artists, scholars, teachers and choreographers, it looks at a range of performing arts from dancehall to ballet, providing valuable insights into dance theory, performance, pedagogy, identity and culture. It challenges the presumption that Blackness, Britishness or dance are monolithic entities, instead arguing that all three are living networks created by rich histories, diverse faces and infinite future possibilities. Through a variety of critical and creative essays, this book suggests a widening of our conceptions of what Black British dance looks like, where it appears, and who is involved in its creation.
Remedies the distinct lack of publication on Dance of the African Diaspora from a post-colonial British prospectiveIncludes work from scholars and artists from across the field of danceExplores the multi-layered, multi-dimensional nature of artists and artistic work from within the spectrums of ‘Blackness', ‘Britishness’, and ‘dance’
“This is a timely, even crucial, anthology – a contribution to the emergent canon of scholarly work revealing Africanist cultural streams which, though ‘invisibilized’ in a European post-colonial world, are alive and well, despite systemic racism and xenophobic exclusionism. Narratives in Black British Dance is a rich and varied category and home base to embodied scholarship, performance, choreography and research by a cadre of gifted practitioners. It has a history. It has a present and a presence. It deserves this attention.” (Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, Professor Emerita of Dance Studies, Temple University, USA) “An important treaty to the significance of dance community challenging dominant stereotypes and structures that reproduce social inequalities, this book makes a vital and exciting contribution to the dance field, mapping humanizing possibilities dance can offer the 21st century.” (Doug Risner, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Journal of Dance Education and Associate Editor of Research in Dance Education) “This informative book is not just for scholarly research, but highlights the importance of artist discovery, journey development, and the understanding and practice of dance-art forms in Britain. Journeys we have witnessed in each other.” (Jackie Guy, MBE, CD, Teacher and Choreographer) “An urgent offering to the expanding field of Dance Studies! Exploring a range of artistic practices from a variety of research perspectives, this volume affirms the deep histories of the embodied arts in Black Britain. These potent essays demonstrate that the moving body makes meaning through experience. A vibrant animation of the narrative turn of dance scholarship, this book is required reading for everyone in dance and cultural studies.” (Thomas F. DeFrantz, Founding Director of the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance)
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