Publication Date

April 2018


Hari Krishnan


American Studies (AMST), Dance


English (United States)


This thesis will look at Black social dance as a battleground for social change in the Black community. It will delve into the exploratory space of social dance to see how Black people have interpreted, interacted with, and impacted the larger socio-political atmosphere of their time and how social dancing has been critical to the continuous formation and reimagination of Black identity and the Black aesthetic. I will be engaging with the dances, dancers, and dance spaces of two movements that accentuated a larger shift in the sociopolitical, and economic status of Black people: the Harlem Renaissance (1917-1930) and the Black Power Movement (1965-1985). My analysis will center in on the sometimes symbiotic, sometimes contentious relationship between embodied movement and social movement thereby exploring themes of black aesthetics, black bodies on display, racial performativity, cultural expression, community and identity formation.



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