Dance / African American Studies
Of, By, and For the People
Dancing on the Left in the 1930s
Edited by Lynn Garafola
With a preface by Barbara Melosh
Studies in Dance History
Published under the auspices of the Society of Dance History Scholars
This pioneering volume sheds important new light on neglected aspects of dance in the 1930s and the early 1940sfrom the revolutionary dance movement that led to the founding of the New Dance Group, to the rediscovery of Africa and the "black Atlantic" by African-American choreographers such as Asadata Dafora and Katherine Dunham, to the Communist Party Pageants and the dance writing of left-wing critic Edna Ocko. One essay explores the 1943 closing of the Savoy Ballroom, Harlem's biggest and most famous dance hall, because of interracial fraternization. This essay reveals to what extent black urban dances like the lindy hop were bringing the races together, even as political forces tried to keep them apart.
With contributions by Russell Gold, Ellen Graff, Edna Ocko, John O. Perpener III, Stacey Prickett, and Barbara Stratyner, the volume concludes with a sampling of Edna Ocko's criticism from New Theatre and The Daily Worker.
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122 pp. 8 1/2 x 11
ISBN 0-9653519-4-7 Paper $14.95 s
Distributed for the Society of Dance History Scholars
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