British Dance: Black Routes  book cover
1st Edition

British Dance: Black Routes

ISBN 9781138913714
Published September 28, 2016 by Routledge
206 Pages

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Book Description

British Dance, Black Routes is an outstanding collection of writings which re-reads the achievements of Black British dance artists, and places them within a broad historical, cultural and artistic context.

Until now discussion of choreography by Black dance practitioners has been dominated by the work of African-American artists, facilitated by the civil rights movement. But the work produced by Black British artists has in part been within the context of Britain’s colonial legacy.

Ramsay Burt and Christy Adair bring together an array of leading scholars and practitioners to review the singularity and distinctiveness of the work of British-based dancers who are Black and its relation to the specificity of Black British experiences.

From sub-Saharan West African and Caribbean dance forms to jazz and hip-hop, British Dance, Black Routes looks afresh at over five decades of artistic production to provide an unparalleled resource for dance students and scholars.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction. Christy Adair and Ramsay Burt

2. Berto Pasuka’s Les Ballets Nègres. Thea Barnes

3. Researching British (Underground) Jazz Dancing 1979-1990. Jane Carr

4. Just after the Pulse, Rhythm Takes All: The Inside Habitat of Improvisation. Sheron Wray

5. African Dance in England: Spirituality and Choreography. Bob Ramdhanie

6. Feel De Riddim, Feel De Vibes: spiritual meaning within Jamaican Dancehall. H Patten

7. The formation of Black dance/African Peoples’ dance sector in Britain. ‘Funmi Adewole

8. Negotiating the Centre. Christy Adair and Ramsay Burt

9. Afterword. Anita Gonzales

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Christy Adair is Professor Emerita at York St John University.

Ramsay Burt is Professor of Dance History at De Montfort University.




A timely text and a much needed one too! [...] An edited collection that does "celebrate achievements of British-based dancers who are Black" P.3) and calls for more of these histories to be shared.

Dr Sarahleigh Castelyn