Black Dance in London, 1730–1850
Innovation, Tradition and Resistance
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About the Book
The survival of African cultural traditions in the New World has long been a subject of academic study and controversy, particularly traditions of dance, music, and song. Yet the dance culture of blacks in London, where a growing black community carried on the newly creolized dance traditions of their Caribbean ancestors, has been largely neglected.
This study begins by examining the importance of dance in African culture and analyzing how African dance took root in the Caribbean, even as slaves learned and adapted European dance forms. It then looks at how these dance traditions were transplanted and transformed once again, this time in mid–eighteenth century London. Finally it analyzes how the London black community used the quadrille and other dances to establish a unified self-identity, to reinforce their group dynamic, and to critique the oppressive white society in which they found themselves.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
Table of Contents
1. Body, Kinesthetics and Dance Theory 3
2. The Origins of African Dance and European Dance and the Dance Traditions They Established 35
3. “Savages with No Knowledge of Their Ancestry” Examples of African Dance Survivals During and After the Atlantic Crossing 82
4. The Importance of Dance for the Black Community in London and Its Growth and Development in the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries 103
5. Interpreting the Visual Representation of Black Dance in London During the Nineteenth Century 126
Chapter Notes 161
Book Reviews & Awards
“recommended”—Choice; “a welcome addition, usefully outlining the essentials of a subject where much still remains hazy…analysis is both rigorous and sympathetic”—Times Literary Supplement (London).