1st Edition

Fire Under My Feet History, Race, and Agency in African Diaspora Dance

Edited By Ofosuwa M. Abiola Copyright 2022
    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    178 Pages
    by Routledge

    Fire Under My Feet seeks to expose the diverse, significant, and often under-researched historical and developmental phenomena revealed by studies in the dance systems of the African Diaspora.

    In the book, written documentation and diverse methodologies are buttressed by the experiences of those whose lives are built around the practice of African diaspora dance. Replete with original perspectives, this book makes a significant contribution to dance and African diaspora scholarship simultaneously. Most important, it highlights the work of researchers from Ecuador, India, Puerto Rico, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and it exposes under-researched and omitted voices of the African diaspora dance world of the aforesaid locations and Puerto Rico, Columbia, and Trinidad as well.

    This study showcases a blend of scholars, dance practitioners, and interdisciplinarity, and engages the relationship between African diaspora dance and the fields of history, performance studies, critical race theory, religion, identity, and black agency.

    Part I Politicizing Black Bodies and the Appropriation of Identity

    1 The Gaze of Power, Rebel Bodies, and the Specter of Savagery: African and African Descents Dances in the Narrative Eye of the Beholders in Puerto Rico during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

    Noel Allende Goitía

    Part II Choreographing the African Diaspora in the Public Space

    2 Rooting across Generations: Establishing British Caribbean Diasporic Identity through Dance

    Tia-Monique Uzor

    3 Visualizing African Diaspora Dance through the African American Dance Company and Visual Art

    Katie E. Dieter

    4 The Ruses of Memory in the Cinematic Choreographies of Delia Zapata Olivella: Dancing to Build Gender in the Public Sphere

    Juan Suárez Ontaneda

    Part III Dance, Spirituality, and the Embodiment of Cultural Continuity

    5 Dance, Rhythm, and Ritual: Afro-Venezuelans in Resistance

    Mesi Walton

    6 Dancing African-Ness: The Transnational Identity of the Siddi Dammal

    Anuran Dasgupta

    7 Dance: A Catalyst for Spiritual Transcendence

    Tamara Williams


    Ofosuwa M. Abiola is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Howard University. She is the author of History Dances: Chronicling the History of Traditional Mandinka Dance (2019) and is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Evoke: A Historical, Theoretical, and Cultural Analysis of Africana Dance and Theatre.