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1. African Dance: An Artistic, Historical
2. Doople\aa: The Eternal Law of
3. National Rhythms, African Roots:
4. Songs of West Africa: A Collection
6. African American Dance: An Illustrated
7. Lord of the dance: An African
8. The Dance of Freedom: Texas African
9. The Marabi Dance (African Writers
10. Alvin Ailey: Celebrating African-American
11. Jazz Dance: The Story Of American
12. Old-Time Music and Dance: Community
13. Joneeba! The African Dance Workout
14. Choreographies of African Identities:
15. African-American Traditions in
16. From My People: 400 Years of African
17. African Dancing (Let's Dance)
18. Black Dance: From 1619 to Today
19. Making Caribbean Dance: Continuity
20. Dance (African-American Arts)

1. African Dance: An Artistic, Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
Paperback: 272 Pages (1997-01)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$15.44
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Asin: 0865431973
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This is a collection of essays written by scholars andprofessionals on the field of Dance and African American Studiescovering four major areas of the disciplines. It provides historical,philosophical and aesthetic information on the subject matter drawingfrom the African continent and the African Diaspora. ... Read more

2. Doople\aa: The Eternal Law of African Dance (Choreography and Dance Studies Series)
by Alphonse Tierou
Paperback: 90 Pages (1992-01-01)
list price: US$47.95 -- used & new: US$43.00
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Asin: 3718653060
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The African dancer requires complete technical mastery and must respect the precise rules handed down by the society of the Masques de Sagesse. Alphonse Tiérou is from the Ouenon people of the Ivory Coast. His major study is the first written record of this oral tradition and it explains the movements, codes and meanings of the traditional African dance. It is extremely valuable reading for all those studying or interested in Africa, as dance is such an essential part of this continent's cultural heritage.
A former student of the National Institute of Arts at Abidjan, Alphonse Tiérou has been a senior dignitary in the Kman of the Masques de Sagesse for over twenty years. He is currently teaching at the Bloa Nam (Movements) dance school in Nîmes, which he founded in 1979 and which is still the only school worldwide to research African dance. He was appointed consultant for research into African dance by UNESCO in 1988 and has since organised an impressive African mask ex ... Read more

3. National Rhythms, African Roots: The Deep History of Latin American Popular Dance (Dialogos)
by John Charles Chasteen
Paperback: 269 Pages (2004-01-30)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$26.68
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Asin: 0826329411
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When John Charles Chasteen learned that Simón Bolívar, the Liberator, danced on a banquet table to celebrate Latin American independence in 1824, he tried to visualize the scene. How, he wondered, did the Liberator dance? Did he bounce stiffly in his dress uniform? Or did he move his hips? In other words, how high had African dance influences reached in Latin American societies? A vast social gap separated Bolívar from people of African descent; however, Chasteen’s research shows that popular culture could bridge the gap.

Fast-paced and often funny, this book explores the history of Latin American popular dance before the twentieth century. Chasteen first focuses on Havana, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro, where dances featuring a “transgressive close embrace” (forerunners of today’s salsa, tango, and samba) emerged by 1900. Then, digging deeper in time, Chasteen uncovers the historical experiences that molded Latin American popular dance, including carnival celebrations, the social lives of slaves, European fashions, and, oddly enough, religious processions. The relationship between Latin American dance and nationalism, it turns out, is very deep, indeed. ... Read more

4. Songs of West Africa: A Collection of over 80 Traditional West African Folk Songs and Chants in 6 Languages with Translations, Annotations
by Dan Gorlin
Plastic Comb: 156 Pages (2000-01-01)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$24.95
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Asin: 0970443900
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Here's an exciting new resource for anyone interested in African music and culture. Songs of West Africa by Dan Gorlin contains over 80 traditional African folk songs and chants in 6 languages along with extensive translations, annotations and performance notes. It may be the most complete collection of African songs ever published.

The book highlights traditional songs from the Anlo-Ewe, Lobi, Ga-Adangbe, Egu, Foh, and related ethnic groups from Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria. There are sacred songs from Afa, Agzogbo, Gadzo, and Yewe traditions. Also major secular and historical music including Agbekor, Kinka, Atsia, Gahu, Takada, and more.

Many of the songs are simple to learn, and can be easily taught to grade school students or adapted to other styles of music. But the scope of this book goes far beyond children's songs. Each song is explained in terms of cultural context, and translated in a way that helps you form your own interpretation of its meaning. You'll discover that singing the songs of Africa is a superb way to learn about her people, culture, and history -- and it's fun!

The text includes music fundamentals, a pronunciation guide, and useful introductions to West African society, sensibility, and spirituality. Using the companion audio CD (included) you learn by singing along like young Africans do - or just listen and enjoy. The CD was studio-recorded especially for this book, so vocals and harmonies are easily heard over the supporting drums. With insightful perspectives and a wealth of information, this book is a must-have for students, teachers, and libraries. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A really helpful song source to have!
I recently purchased this after having it on my list for a while - wish I'd done so earlier.Dan put a lot of time and thought into the collection, with a diverse representation of various traditions in West Africa.Personally, I bought this to learn more Ewe (Ghanaian) songs for some of the music my students are playing - the songs were ones I'd never heard, and the recordings made it easy to loop/learn by listening.A pronunciation guide for the various languages is within every section, along with contextual information about the people and the music the songs accompany.

Highly recommended, especially for those like me who have a grasp of the music already and are looking to further their repertoire of songs - nice job Dan!

5-0 out of 5 stars Crucial Information
As a student of West African music and dance I highly recommend this book and cd. The book in itself is a valuable resource regarding Ewe music. It goes into depth in its description of the social environment from which this music comes. The recordings are of very good quality and include some of the drum music that accompanies the songs. The fact that C.K. Ladzekpo was consulted in the writing of the book indicates that the information is accurate.

If you want to enjoy listening to Ewe songs and especially if you want to learn to sing them yourself please order this book immediately.

5-0 out of 5 stars Songs of West Africa" by Dan Gorlin is perfect for me.
I have studied in Ghana and continue to study and teach this music here in Philadelphia, and this book has enough substance to feed a small country of song hungry drummers.Also, it seems the Author also sings and plays the support drums, lead vocal and chorus (overdubbed); which is really incredible because the CD sounds so Ewe~!A must have for anyone who values beauty and hard work!
Shawn Hennessey, Leana Song.

5-0 out of 5 stars At last - a great way to learn some African music!
I wasn't sure what to expect when I bought this, but this book turned out to be really fun to read! Part storytelling, part anthropology, part language lessons, the book introduces not just songs from six different tribal groups but a sense of how they see the world. The songs are translated, plus the pronounciations written out, and you can play the CD and read along with it - a great help if you want to try singing or drumming the music. ... Read more

5. SEE THE MUSIC HEAR THE DANCE: Rethinking African Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2004-03)
list price: US$79.00 -- used & new: US$24.98
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Asin: 3791330365
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This innovative look at African Art presents the wonders of one of America’s best known African collections within the ritual context for which the artworks were first created.

Drawing on the Baltimore Museum’s renowned African Collection, this vibrantly illustrated exploration of African rituals uniquely encourages readers to look beyond the solitary artifact and toward an understanding of African music and dance as fully sensory experiences. The one hundred objects presented here are a part of ceremonies that rely on sounds, sights, smells, and tastes to deliver their ultimate effects. Color reproductions of the objects, including masks, sculpture, and ceramics, are accompanied by brief essays explaining the contexts within which each was created. The essays focus costumes; dance, movement and gesture; music and other sounds; storytelling; audiences; staging, and lighting. Field photographs and archival images help bring to life the African ceremonial experience, which we can better understand with the aid of this groundbreaking work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars present for mom
My mother loves African art and she has spent many hours looking through this book and enjoying the wonderful photographs. Don't make assumptions - she's an 80 year old Jewish Grandma. ... Read more

6. African American Dance: An Illustrated History
by Barbara S. Glass
Hardcover: 319 Pages (2006-11-27)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$50.00
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Asin: 0786428163
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Africans brought as slaves to North America arrived without possessions, but not without culture. The fascinating elements of African life manifested themselves richly in the New World, and among the most lasting and influential of these was the art of African dance. This generously illustrated exploration of African American dance history follows the dynamics of the dance forms throughout each generation. Chapter 1 provides introductory information about the African continent and the heritage that spawned African American dance. Following is a discussion of the discrimination and marginalization endured by African Americans, and the fortitude with which the dance survived and became increasingly important in American culture. Chapters 2 and 3 explore black dance in the slavery era and the variety of black festivals and gatherings that helped to preserve and showcase African-based dance throughout the nineteenth century. Remaining chapters outline ten major characteristics that have consistently marked African American dance, and describe the various styles of black vernacular dance that became popular in America--the Ring Shout, Buzzard Lope, Cakewalk, Shimmy, Charleston, Black Bottom, Big Apple, Lindy Hop, and more. Chapter 8 concludes with a discussion of African dance at the end of the twentieth century and its important role in the flowering of African American arts. ... Read more

7. Lord of the dance: An African retelling
by Veronique Tadjo
 Hardcover: 26 Pages (1989)
list price: US$11.89 -- used & new: US$186.90
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Asin: 0397323514
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Mask of the Lord of the Dance tells the story of the Senufu people of Ivory Coast, many of whose traditions have disappeared with encroaching modern developments. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Dance
Seller was prompt in sending. Book will be used in school for special project with French Immersion students and a visual art project.
Difficulty ordering as there are two books with the same title.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting attempt - excellent illustrations
Tadjo took on a difficult task - the retelling of Carter's hymn "Lordof the Dance" as a history of the Senufo people.The Lord of theDance becomes the Mask, the world is created and people live in piecedancing with the wooden icon of the Mask, then the modern world describesMask a "a symbol of ignorance" but the Mask persists.Tadjocomes close to pulling this task off but finally slides into a didacticstyle rather than trusting the story.However, the book is still worthyour time. ... Read more

8. The Dance of Freedom: Texas African Americans during Reconstruction (Jack and Doris Smothers Series in Texas History, Life, and Culture)
by Barry Crouch
Paperback: 286 Pages (2007-02-01)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$18.03
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Asin: 0292714874
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This anthology brings together the late Barry A. Crouch's most important articles on the African American experience in Texas during Reconstruction. Grouped topically, the essays explore what freedom meant to the newly emancipated, how white Texans reacted to the freed slaves, and how Freedmen's Bureau agents and African American politicians worked to improve the lot of ordinary African American Texans. The volume also contains Crouch's seminal review of Reconstruction historiography, "Unmanacling Texas Reconstruction: A Twenty-Year Perspective." The introductory pieces by Arnoldo De Leon and Larry Madaras recapitulate Barry Crouch's scholarly career and pay tribute to his stature in the field of Reconstruction history. ... Read more

9. The Marabi Dance (African Writers Series, 124)
by Modikwe Dikobe
Mass Market Paperback: 128 Pages (1984-01-01)
list price: US$8.95
Isbn: 0435901249
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A novel of rare insight into the township life of Johannesburg. It tells the story of Martha, trapped between the pull of the country and the violent life with the dance-band groups. ... Read more

10. Alvin Ailey: Celebrating African-American Culture in Dance (African-American Biographies)
by Barbara C. Cruz
Library Binding: 128 Pages (2004-10)
list price: US$26.60
Isbn: 0766022935
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Alvin Ailey
Alvin Ailey: Celebrating African- American Culture in Dance

The biography Alvin Ailey: Celebrating African- American in Dance would be described as surprising, excellent characters, and excellent word choice. This book was based on Alvin Ailey's life. He was born on January 5, 1931 in Rogers, Texas. He grew up with his mother who couldn't keep a steady job, therefore they moved often. Ailey became interested in ballet when he sees on of Katherine Dunham performances. That's how his legacy began. He created so many pieces and his most famous one's were Revelations, Night Creature, and For Bird, With Love. After winning many awards, Ailey died on December 1, 1989 in New York City. Today his legacy lives on through Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre (AAADT).
The book is very surprising because of the many facts that you will receive from this book. For example when I found out that Alvin Ailey was gay was very heart breaking. Even though there are plenty of male dancers, he was the last dancer I would think of being gay. Another example is when I found out that he danced with Maya Angelou, Marguerite Angelos, before she became a poet.

Alvin Ailey is an excellent character because if the way that the author described him and others. For example there were many quotes in the book the described the way he taught others to dance. One of them are: "He made dance accessible to everyone. You didn't have to have a trained eye or read a book- all you had to do is open your heart. That's what Alvin was about, that spark of spirit," Keith McDaniel, a dancer of the Ailey Company, once spoke.

The word was very vivid. The author described places, people, and movement really well. For example when Ailey was younger and he moved from place to place she said it to be heart-breaking and annoying. She also said that the places he moved back-and-forth to be disgusting, trashy, poor black neighborhoods. She also said that Ailey's movements were touching and surreal. They were so that one time he received a twenty minute standing applause.

Surprising, excellent characters, and excellent word choice were the three reasons why I give this book a four star rating. It was heart- breaking and made me want to dance more than what I do now. This book could not get any better.

S. Bowens
... Read more

11. Jazz Dance: The Story Of American Vernacular Dance
by Marshall Stearns, Jean Stearns
Paperback: 508 Pages (1994-03-22)
list price: US$21.00 -- used & new: US$11.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306805537
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Story of American Vernacular Dance
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars American Classic
I second everything Frank Cullen says about this book. I first read it over thirty years ago, acquiring my own copy some years later. Not only is it a great book on American show business,it makes great reading for anyone interested in all facets of New World music and dance culture. I frequently reccomend this book to fans of American music in general, be it jazz, blues, rock 'n' roll, country, Latin etc. etc. After reading the Stearns' wonderful book, one sees that, no matter how well-versed in the musical lore of the Americas one is, it is all a bit two-dimensional without the perspective offered by 'Jazz Dance'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book about American vernacular dance ever written
There is no other dance book on the market (and thank heavens that this one has remained available since it was first published in 1968) that is as useful, delightful to read or as authoratative as Marshall & Jean Stearn's "Jazz Dance". Indeed, it is, in my opinion, one of the best books ever written about any facet of show business.
Vernacular dance in 20th century America wasn't represented or devised solely by a handful of the best remembered: Vernon & Irene Castle, Bill Robinson, Fred & Ginger, Eleanor Powell, Hal Le Roy, the Nicholas Brothers, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, Donald O'Connor and Bob Fosse.
From the age of variety saloons and minstrelsy through a century of vaudeville and nightclubs, there were hundreds of dancers, black and white, female and male, who contributed to the development of American vernacular (or jazz) dance. Hoofers invented, borrowed, stole and adapted rhythm steps, jumps, slides, contortions and even style from each other---and American dance became richer for their efforts.
Marshall Stearns understood that. Instead of choosing to write about the best known dancers of his day, the ones blessed by luck, Stearns took on the nearly impossible task of interviewing every dancer of ability he could locate. Some like King Rastus Brown, Ginger Wiggins and Groundhog were remarkable talents known only by a very few--most of whom were other dancers who held them in high esteem. Others like John Bubbles, Ida Forsythe, James Barton, Pete Nugent, Eddie Rector, Alice Whitman, Willie Covan and Harlan Dixon were peerless dancers of their day but forgotten despite years of stardom. Mr. Stearns brought more than a hundred fine hoofers to tell their stories to readers and dance enthusiasts.
Stearns wove those stories together without forcing themes and, within the warp and woof of his narrative, emerged bits of social history and showbiz lore, explanations of certain dance steps, claims and counter-claims as to origins and originality, faulty recollections and all but forgotten gems of clearly remembered facts.
Many reputations emerged brightly restored in luster while others, perhaps more famous, proved less admired by professionals who had more discerning views than fans with less knowledge of dance.
Whenever I need to check a fact about vernacular dance--jazz dance or tap--I turn first to Marshall Stearn's invaluable book.
Frank Cullen
founder, American Vaudeville Museum publisher of "Vaudeville Times"
author: "Vaudeville, Old & New: an Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America" (2006, Routledge Press)

3-0 out of 5 stars trivia, not how-to
Want to know what the "buck and wing" looks like?The "black bottom," "shorty george," "eagle rock" or "Jersey bounce"?Well, if you can read Labanotation, you canfind out from the last pages of this book.Otherwise, you'll just have tosettle for a bunch of dance history and anecdotes strung together by theStearns, who interviewed as many American jazz dancers as they could stillfind alive.

It's fascinating stuff, though.The text does give somelimited descriptions, and opening the book to a random page reveals both" . . .Crawley danced while he played clarinet, juggling the pieces ashe dismantled it" and "As performed by Little Egypt at theChicago World's Fair in 1893, where it first received national attention asthe Hootchy-Kootchy, the Shake dance was not particularly rhythmic."

As an actual history of American dance, for me this book lackscoherence.But I did learn about ways in which African dance influencedAmerican, see the names of quite a lot of performers, steps, andperformance venues, and learn to play the "Buck Dancer's Lament"on the piano.If you want something you can read a page of and then putdown until later, this will fill the bill. ... Read more

12. Old-Time Music and Dance: Community and Folk Revival (Readings in African Studies)
by John Bealle
Paperback: 368 Pages (2005-08-10)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$19.70
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Asin: 025334638X
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In the summer of 1972, a group of young people in Bloomington, Indiana, began a weekly gathering with the purpose of reviving traditional American old-time music and dance. In time, the group became a kind of accidental utopia, a community bound by celebration and deliberately void of structure and authority. In this joyful and engaging book, John Bealle tells the lively history of the Bloomington Old-Time Music and Dance Group--how it was formed, how it evolved its unique culture, and how it grew to shape and influence new waves of traditional music and dance. Broader questions about the folk revival movement, social resistance, counter culture, authenticity, and identity intersect this delightful history. More than a story about the people who forged the group or an extraordinary convergence of talent and creativity, Old-Time Music and Dance follows the threads of American folk culture and the social experience generated by this living tradition of music and dance. ... Read more

13. Joneeba! The African Dance Workout
by A. Djoniba Mouflet, Djoniba Mouflet
Hardcover: 212 Pages (2001-01-02)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578260493
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book bridges the gap between exercise and dance, integrating stretching and toning as well as fluid, energetic dance movements from Guinea, Senegal, and the Congo to the Caribbean. Making the mind-body connection through rhythmic drumming, the lure to exercise is irresistible. Incorporating body, mind and spirit, the traditional African dance movements provide the perfect holistic workout. It will show the novice how to develop and get in touch with their own sense of rhythm, how to breathe properly, how to listen to a drumbeat, the five basic hand clapping rhythms, and the proper body moves. Detailed photos and diagrams will demonstrate the easy-going movements of Sounou, the sensuous movements of Soukous, the funky rhythm of Koukou and the explosive power of Manjiani and Dundunba. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Joneeba Time!
This is an excellent workout. I love the dancing and the African drums, I also bought his book and the cd. I plan to teach it to the youth this summer. Energetic and Fun. I can't wait...I hope there is another one to follow.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun Fitness
My adolescent daughter has been feeling awkward lately because of her changing body. I wanted to portray the right message about exercise; that it is about emotional as well as physical wellness and having fun, rather than shedding pounds and keeping trim. After looking for less destructive ways of helping my daughter feel good about her body, we found Joneeba! Joneeba is the most fun I have had in a long time, and I can do it with my daughter. We really get into it. The exercises and dances are easy to follow, because of the anatomic illustrations. As time went by, my daughter and I no longer needed to have the book right in front of us, we let the rhythm guide us to a wonderful and spiritual workout!

5-0 out of 5 stars Exercise with Life !
I have always been attracted to unconventional ways of doing things, including staying fit. JONEEBA is an eccentric and unique fitness workout that provides me with the mental and physical wellness I look for in an exercise regiment. The Joneeba workout has replaced my Yoga and Aerobic routines. If anyone is tired of the same old exercises, and are looking for a mind/body experience, I absolutely recommend this book. I've never had this much fun exercising!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Metamorphosis of Mind, Body and Soul!
This book is written in a witty and eloquent way filled with many funny anecdotes. I have been dancing with Djoniba for two and a half years and I wholeheartedly believe in his program. The "Joneeba" work-out has changed my way of life in so many positive ways. It's therapeutic because it unifies and balances all five chakras...when you really listen to the drums your spirit soars on a higher level. There have been times when I actually feel like I'm flying not just dancing! There is a real sense of community among his students and everyone is extremely supportive, especially when it's time to dance solo in the circle. Sometimes, it can feel a bit intimidating to do your own thing in front of everyone, but Djoniba and his Djimbefolas(master drummers)are encouraging. The book is interesting because it provides a new way of approaching the work-out and the illustrations are quite attractive. I love the way I feel in class, I'm not a classically trained dancer but in Djoniba's class I feel like a beautiful dancer. My body just looks and feels great and my husband can't keep his hands off me! Combined with a healthy diet this work-out will shed inches off your body instantly, as well as boost your self-confidence. I highly recommend this book and work-out routine to anyone who is tired of battling the ten pound bulge. If you dance atleast three times a week...you'll be ready for a sexy thong by August. West African Dance is not just about losing weight...it's ceremonial, each movement has spiritual meaning. When a community get's together to celebrate life through dance and music many magical things occur.

1-0 out of 5 stars A lack of research...all hype!
I've been a West African Dancer for 20 years and I've performed professionally as well as researched the history, culture and spiritual meaning of each ceremonial dance. This book lacks true substance as well as literary content, because it doesn't give you enough information on the history of each tribal dance. Sure, there are bits and pieces of information scattered through-out the pages but it's incohesive. West African Dance is not difficult, but it's an intricate art form that can not be learned through a 1-2-3 technique. The book is more about the "Joneeba" warm-up routine which I find to be rather self-indulgent. Being the avid reader that I am, I was disappointed with all the grammatical errors. Four people wrote this book, couldn't they edit it properly? I would suggest that Mr. Mouflet release a work-out video instead and save the literature for the experts. ... Read more

14. Choreographies of African Identities: Negritude, Dance, and the National Ballet of Senegal
by Francesca Castaldi
Paperback: 264 Pages (2006-02-13)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$18.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0252072685
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Choreographies of African Identities traces interconnected interpretative frameworks around and about the National Ballet of Senegal. Using the metaphor of a dancing circle Castaldi's arguments cover the full spectrum of performance, from production to circulation and reception. Castaldi first situates the reader in a North American theatre, focusing on the relationship between dancers and audiences as that between black performers and white spectators. She then examines the work of the National Ballet in relation to Leopold Sedar Senghor's Negritude ideology and cultural politics. Finally, the author addresses the circulation of dances in the streets, discotheques, and courtyards of Dakar, drawing attention to women dancers' occupation of the urban landscape. ... Read more

15. African-American Traditions in Song, Sermon, Tale, and Dance, 1600s-1920: An Annotated Bibliography of Literature, Collections, and Artworks (The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Black Music)
Hardcover: 416 Pages (1990-09-11)
list price: US$106.95 -- used & new: US$299.15
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Asin: 0313249180
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"As any well-organized, carefully annotated bibliography does, this work by Southern and Wright brings order out of chaos. The 2,328 entries identify books, articles, sermons, pamphlets, and broadsides, among other formats, all centered on black folk culture with emphasis on the manifestations of that culture from 1600 to 1920 through song, dance, games, sermons, and illustrations. . . . This carefully done and useful bibliography is recommended for libraries on all campuses where there is an interest in the black experience." Choice ... Read more

16. From My People: 400 Years of African American Folklore: An Anthology
Paperback: 736 Pages (2003-11)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$14.24
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Asin: 0393324974
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A magnificent celebration of—and an essential introduction to—African American life and culture. Folklore displays the heart and soul of a people. African American folklore not only hands down traditions and wisdom through the generations but also tells the history of a people banned from writing and reading during slavery. In this anthology, Daryl Cumber Dance collects a wealth of tales that have survived and been adapted over the years, many featuring characters (like Brer' Rabbit) from African culture. She leaves no genre of folklore out, including everything from proverbs and recipes to folk songs and rumor. There is a section on the unique style that African Americans have consciously fashioned, including works by and about Paul Laurence Dunbar, Zora Neale Hurston, and Jelly Roll Morton. Within the chapter on folk art, which includes a sixteen-page color insert, quilts, dolls, sculpture, and painting get their due. From the famous to the anonymous, From My People is Dance's gift back to her culture. A Booklist Top Ten African American Nonfiction Book of the Year. Nominated for the Library of Virginia Literary Award. 82 illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best Black folklore anthologies
It is a sad fact of our times that the folklore of Black America is almost a vanishing art. As a folklorist, historian, and story teller, it saddens me that I often ask kids if their parents tell them any stories and they don't have a clue, and our older folks tales of Old John, Anancy, Brer Rabbit, the Signifying Monkey, Shine and the Titanic, Raw Head and Bloody Bones, etc. are unknown to most people of my age and younger.

Fortunately, people like Prof. Daryl C. Dance are doing what they can to rectify this situation by anthologies such as this. She does an excellent job not only in preserving this kind of material but also the classic folk sermons of Rev. C.L. Franklin and lesser known preachers as well as songs and children's games. Material such as this has been done before, especially by Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Dorson, and Roger Abrahams, but not very recently.

So overall, this book is a treasure. However,as much fun as Black folklore is to read, its better if watched or heard orally. Somebody needs to make a CD or DVD documentary of this sort of thing (hint hint to my fellow folklorists and scholars out there).

5-0 out of 5 stars Capturing Culture
How often have we sat at the feet of our elders and heard stories imparted to us regarding the days gone by?Handed down through the generations, these tales were not only meant for entertainment purposes, they impart wisdom and provide a living lesson. In 400 YEARS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FOLKLORE, author Daryl Cumber Dance has created a compilation of folktales, folk music - including spirituals and freedom songs - as well as blues and ballads, folk arts and crafts, proverbs and many other pearls of wisdom that breed familiarity in the Black community.The African slave trade tore our early ancestors from their native lands, stripping them of their individual identities and beliefs, yet our strong forefathers were able to maintain some of their culture and the stories that were once told to them.

Ms. Dance does a wonderful job in capturing the vernacular used in some of the stories as well as providing some historical background to set a frame of reference for her readers.Each story and every entry into this collection caught my attention.I was compelled through the pages by my curiosity and to be reminded of days gone by.Each was very well put together, yet I found my favorite folk tale to be "De Ways of De Wimmens" which is a humorous short tale revolving around Adam and Eve's first days together and the establishment of gender roles.This story literally had me laughing out loud because even today, I can relate to the basic truth found in this tale.

400 YEARS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FOLKLORE is not just a collection of folk tales.Don't get me wrong, Ms. Dance does rightful justice in providing glimpses into our dynamic society.She reaches back into the early days, guides us through the civil rights era by including powerful sermons by Reverend C.L. Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson and many more.She even addresses some of today's disconcerting issues, such as urban gentrification and gang violence.

In summary, the selections included in this book run the gamut throughout the reaches of time. It provides glimpses into the strong traditions held by the Black community and imparts some wisdom as to how these traditions may have taken root.In writing 400 YEARS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FOLKLORE, Ms. Dance stated, "My goal throughout my career and in this anthology has been to collect, transcribe, preserve and respect the integrity of the folk text."In my humble opinion, she did just that.Ms. Dance should be lauded for her efforts.

Reviewed by Nedine
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing collection!
For most people, the term "folklore" probably conjures the image of songs and stories, but as Daryl Cumber Dance illustrates, it's much more than that.It's about quilts and the history they embody. It's about hair styles, dress, food, traditions of marching bands, sermons, speeches...even internet rumors and graffiti.As one chapter is headed, it's about "The Style of Soul."

Start at any topic that piques your interest, and I promise, you'll find it impossible to put this book down.There are surprises around every corner...for example, I was delighted to find a low fat recipe for greens!

This vast, rich book belongs in every library.
Curator, AfroAmericanHeritage dot com

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine volume gathering a diverse range of tales
400 years of Afro-American folklore are represented in From My People, a fine volume gathering a diverse range of tales, from Brer Rabbit and African motifs to proverbs, recipes, and folk songs. It's the range of writings which sets From My People apart from competing collections on Afro-American oral traditions, making for a comprehensive and important title.

5-0 out of 5 stars a must for your library
This huge anthology covers black folklore going back to slavery and up to the latest classic email story. Poems, spirituals, great speeches and famous sermons are included. There is a chapter on little written about black crafts and art and culural activities such as step shows and rent parties. It could be argued that the book is too big. Bibles and dictionaries weigh less than it does but From My People is a reference book. It gives a quick overview of 400 years of folklore. This should be in school libraries across the land.

Kimberley Lindsay Wilson, author of Work It! The Black Woman's Guide to Success at Work. ... Read more

17. African Dancing (Let's Dance)
by Mark Thomas
Paperback: 24 Pages (2000-03)
list price: US$4.95
Isbn: 0516230662
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Early readers find out how the hard practice of dance class pays off. Vivid photographs follow children's step-by-step progress from learning the moves to appearing in a recital. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing
I got this book for the pre-schoolers that I teach West African dance. I was very disappointed at the content of this book. Unfortunately, the pictures and the story are not engaging enough. I think it was a good idea but it was not executed well.

2-0 out of 5 stars Short and Simple
The book has terrific pictures and gives your child a general idea about African dancing.Perfect for pre-schooler, but if you need more detail...find another one. ... Read more

18. Black Dance: From 1619 to Today
by Lynne Fauley Emery
Paperback: 397 Pages (1989-09-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0916622630
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A complete history of black dance forms, this book explores folk, ballet, jazz, tap, Broadway/Hollywood, disco, and breakdancing. An ultimate research tool, it includes portraits of hundreds of important black dancers and choreographers.
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Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A useful introduction strong on slavery
I read this book chiefly as an aid to my study of Black traditional folk music, especially about the banjo and the fiddle. This book has outstanding information about fiddling and banjo playing by Africans in the Americas in the colonial periods.I've read specialized books and research papers on that topic, but I have never seen some of the reportsthat appear in the early part of Emery's book of banjo playing on slave ships, banjo playing in Cuba, and early Black dancing to these instruments.

Emery's discussion of dance under slavery is quite interesting, particularly her account of how similar dances existed among Africans who were enslaved in the West Indies and Latin America as were danced by Africans in the United States.Some of the African dances shared across the Americas, particularly La Bomba and the Kalinda, remain known by people familiar with Mexican and Mexican American music or Creole and Zydeco music from Louisiana.

I was pleased to find a balanced acount of dance in minstrelsy.She speculates that many of the dances that were done in minstrelsy by whites and the few African Americans involved were not reproductions of Black dances, but African-Americanized versions of white folk dancing. This offsets what I consider an overemphasis on minstrelsy's transmission of African American music and dance and a correct estimation of how much European-American content was involved.

After minstrelsy, she turns her attention to dancing by African Americans in the public entertainment industry, and loses any focus on the Black Southern rural masses who were a majority of the Black population until the 1960s.

Her discussion of Black show dancing and the onset of Black art dance in the 1920s and 1930s was interesting, but it seemed thinner than her earlier discussion.By the time she hits the 1940s or 1950s, she is going along very quickly and not providing as much analysis and information she does earlier.

I enjoyed Emery's fighting antiracist approach.The oppression and discrimination Black folk have received since we arrived in this country are never absent from her discussion of Black Dance.

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19. Making Caribbean Dance: Continuity and Creativity in Island Cultures
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2010-08-29)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813034671
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Editorial Review

Book Description

Explore the vibrant and varied dance traditions of the islands


"Susanna Sloat has done it again. Following on the heels of the success of Caribbean Dance from Abakua to Zouk, Sloat's new interdisciplinary collection extends the reach of dance scholarship to command the attention of all genres of forward-thinking students of the Caribbean."--Joan Frosch, University of Florida


"Vivid portraits of important, rarely described corners of the Caribbean, revealed through voices both poetic and analytic."--Catherine Evleshin, Portland State University


Caribbean dance is a broad category that can include everything from nightclubs to sacred ritual. Making Caribbean Dance connects the dance of the islands with their rich multicultural histories and complex identities. Delving deep into the many forms of ritual, social, carnival, staged, experimental, and performance dance, the book explores some of the most mysterious and beloved, as well as rare and little-known, dance traditions of the region.

From the evolution of Indian dance in Trinidad to the barely known rituals of los misterios in the Dominican Republic, this volume looks closely at the vibrant and varied movement vocabulary of the islands. With distinctive and highly illuminating chapters on such topics as experimental dance makers in Puerto Rico, the government's use of dance in shaping national identity in Barbados, the role of calypso and soca in linking Anglophone islands, and the invented dances of dance-hall kings and queens of Jamaica, this volume is an evocative and enlightening exploration of some of the world’s most dynamic dance cultures.



... Read more

20. Dance (African-American Arts)
by Angela/Michael Medearis
Library Binding: 80 Pages (1997-12-09)
list price: US$28.90
Isbn: 0805044817
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Explores the dance traditions of African Americans, from their origins in the expressive dances that the slaves brought from Africa through the development of jazz and tap to modern dance and ballet. ... Read more

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