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The Genius of African-American Dance

To the beat of the drum originated in West Africa for African Americans the creative spark to bring something new into the world through dance is flourishing today as it did 400 years ago. In fact, both social dance and performance dance have been inseparable from the African-American community as it was a way to express: its poetry… it’s Social cohesion… And its joy and sorrow… And it’s drive to freedom. African-American dance has always been innovative and improvising. In this groundbreaking five-part series The Genius of African-American Dance we show how African-American dance has evolved creating new forms of dance including the Cakewalk, Ragtime, the Charleston, Swing, the Twist, Disco, Modern Dance, Breakdancing and finally Afrofuturism’s glorification of the black body through dance.
  • Title ID 204-AAD
  • History, American History, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Music History
  • 5 Programs
  • 1 Supplemental File
  • 10th Grade through Post Secondary
  • Published by Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Included Programs
Supplemental Files
Related Titles

Included Programs

Program 1: African Dance and the Middle PassageRunning time is 26 minutes

Experts and dance performances highlight and chronicle the origin and evolution of African-American dance during the period of enslavement.

Program 2: Minstrel Shows, Vaudeville, and BroadwayRunning time is 26 minutes

Following emancipation in 1865, African-American dance innovation moved from Jim Crow minstrel shows to Vaudeville and finally on to Broadway.

Program 3: The Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz AgeRunning time is 27 minutes

As America entered the 20s into the 30s the country became obsessed with social dancing. Of course, this dance craze was led by African-American dance innovations including Roaring 20s’ Charleston and the 30s’ swing dancing.

Program 4: R&B, Modern Dance, and BreakdancingRunning time is 29 minutes

After World War II African-American dance innovations accelerated at a breakneck speed. The electrification of the guitar provided a new way of creating dance beats. Young African American dance innovators and DJs led the way through rhythm and blues, disco, techno and breakdancing.

Program 5: Dance and AfrofuturismRunning time is 28 minutes

In the 21st century Afrofuturism glorifies the black body in movement and reimagines the past, present and future of black lives through new types of dance.

Supplemental Files

MARC Records for AAD
MARC records for the series The Genius of African-American Dance

Related Titles