divas of dance

Modern-Dance History Times Five, With Plenty of Theatricality
by Roslyn Sulcas

NEWARK — It’s slightly astonishing that “Fly: Five First Ladies of Dance” hasn’t had a longer season in the New York precincts since its premiere at the Kumble Theater in Brooklyn in May of last year. The women of the title are Germaine Acogny, Carmen de Lavallade, Dianne McIntyre, Bebe Miller and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, all contemporary-dance royalty who direct
schools and companies. Seeing them on a program together is like going to a female, modern-dance version of those all-star ballet gatherings like “Kings of the Dance.” Only interesting.

Part of that interest is that “Fly” is a record of black women in dance over the last several decades. The women range in age from almost 60 to almost 80, and while their solos are mostly new, their dance styles, vocabularies and histories are resonant in every onstage gesture.

Continue Reading @ The New York Times

Photo Credit: Victor Jouvert

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About jennifer williams

Jennifer D. Williams is a writer and professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She has published in academic journals and online at Ms.blog, PopMatters, among other sites. Jennifer is currently working on a book that looks at black women's urban literature between the Depression and the civil rights era.

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