Six historic works by African American choreographers, filmed by ADF to preserve and celebrate the black tradition in modern dance, are collected here in a one-hour historical performance program. The ADF produced program was presented by PBS’s Dance in America on June 20, 2007.
Originally recorded for ADF’s 2001 Emmy Award-winning documentary series Free to Dance, the works appeared in the series only as brief excerpts. Now, viewed together in chronological order, they dramatically underscore, as host Taye Diggs puts it, “the important role black choreographers have played in the development of American modern dance.” The works featured include:
Awassa Astrige/Ostrich (1932)
Choreography by Asadata Dafora
Performed by G. D. Harris, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Barrelhouse Blues excerpt (1938)
Choreography by Katherine Dunham
Performed by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble
Strange Fruit (1943)
Choreography by Pearl Primus
Performed by Dawn Marie Watson, Philadanco
Mourner’s Bench (1947)
Choreography by Talley Beatty
Performed by Jerome Stigler, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder (1959)
Choreography by Donald McKayle
Performed by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
D-Man in the Waters – Section 1 (1989)
Choreography by Bill T. Jones
Performed by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
A production of ADF in association with Thirteen/WNET New York, Dancing in the Light is produced by Jodee Nimerichter, written and directed by Madison D. Lacy Jr., with Charles L. Reinhart as executive producer and Taye Diggs, film and television actor, as host.
Dancing in the Light DVD may be purchased here.