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The dance claimed me : a biography of Pearl Primus / Peggy and Murray Schwartz.

By: Schwartz, Peggy [author.].
Contributor(s): Schwartz, Murray [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, [2011]Copyright date: ©2011Description: 1 online resource (324 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates) : illustrations.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780300156430; 030015643X; 1283114348; 9781283114349.Subject(s): Dancers -- United States -- Biography | African American dancers -- Biography | Choreographers -- United States -- Biography | African American dance -- HistoryGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Dance claimed me.DDC classification: 792.802/8092 LOC classification: GV1785.P73 | S38 2011Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
One. From Laventille to Camp Wo-Chi-Ca -- Two. A Life in Dance -- Three. African Transformations -- Four. Teaching, Traveling, and the FBI -- Five. Trinidad Communities -- Six. Return to Africa -- Seven. The PhD -- Eight. The Turn to Teaching and Return to the Stage -- Nine. Academic Trials and Triumphs -- Ten. Transmitting the Work -- Eleven. Barbados : Return to the Sea.
Summary: "Pearl Primus (1919-1994) blazed onto the dance scene in 1943 with stunning works that incorporated social and racial protest into their dance aesthetic. In The Dance Claimed Me, Peggy and Murray Schwartz, friends and colleagues of Primus, offer an intimate perspective on her life and explore her influences on American culture, dance, and education. They trace Primus's path from her childhood in Port of Spain, Trinidad, through her rise as an influential international dancer, an early member of the New Dance Group (whose motto was "Dance is a weapon"), and a pioneer in dance anthropology. Primus traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, Israel, the Caribbean, and Africa, and she played an important role in presenting authentic African dance to American audiences. She engendered controversy in both her private and professional lives, marrying a white Jewish man during a time of segregation and challenging black intellectuals who opposed the "primitive" in her choreography. Her political protests and mixed-race tours in the South triggered an FBI investigation, even as she was celebrated by dance critics and by contemporaries like Langston Hughes. For The Dance Claimed Me, the Schwartzes interviewed more than a hundred of Primus's family members, friends, and fellow artists, as well as other individuals to create a vivid portrayal of a life filled with passion, drama, determination, fearlessness, and brilliance"--Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
GV1785.P73 S38 2011 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1npszk Available ocn727944936

"Pearl Primus (1919-1994) blazed onto the dance scene in 1943 with stunning works that incorporated social and racial protest into their dance aesthetic. In The Dance Claimed Me, Peggy and Murray Schwartz, friends and colleagues of Primus, offer an intimate perspective on her life and explore her influences on American culture, dance, and education. They trace Primus's path from her childhood in Port of Spain, Trinidad, through her rise as an influential international dancer, an early member of the New Dance Group (whose motto was "Dance is a weapon"), and a pioneer in dance anthropology. Primus traveled extensively in the United States, Europe, Israel, the Caribbean, and Africa, and she played an important role in presenting authentic African dance to American audiences. She engendered controversy in both her private and professional lives, marrying a white Jewish man during a time of segregation and challenging black intellectuals who opposed the "primitive" in her choreography. Her political protests and mixed-race tours in the South triggered an FBI investigation, even as she was celebrated by dance critics and by contemporaries like Langston Hughes. For The Dance Claimed Me, the Schwartzes interviewed more than a hundred of Primus's family members, friends, and fellow artists, as well as other individuals to create a vivid portrayal of a life filled with passion, drama, determination, fearlessness, and brilliance"--Provided by publisher.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

One. From Laventille to Camp Wo-Chi-Ca -- Two. A Life in Dance -- Three. African Transformations -- Four. Teaching, Traveling, and the FBI -- Five. Trinidad Communities -- Six. Return to Africa -- Seven. The PhD -- Eight. The Turn to Teaching and Return to the Stage -- Nine. Academic Trials and Triumphs -- Ten. Transmitting the Work -- Eleven. Barbados : Return to the Sea.

Description based on print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Peggy and Murray Schwartz, who are married and who were both employed at University of Massachusetts Amherst, here explore the life of Pearl Primus (1919-94), with whom they worked and socialized. An important figure in dance history, she was a pioneer in communicating an understanding of African dance and culture in the United States. She also used dance as a form of social protest. Born in Trinidad, she came to America as a child. Originally aspiring to be a doctor but lacking opportunity because of her race, Primus shifted into dance and political activism. Later in life, she earned a Ph.D. from New York University in educational sociology and anthropology. She was a riveting performer, and the book is filled with eyewitness accounts of her powerful presence on stage and off. Primus says it best: "When I danced it, I wasn't male or female. I wasn't the wind. I wasn't the tree. I was a concept." The authors also include a helpful time line. Verdict This welcome addition to dance history illuminates Primus's life and career.-Barb Kundanis, Longmont P.L., CO (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Peggy Schwartz (dance, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Murray Schwartz (literature, Emerson College) have written an informal, intimate, yet scholarly biography of Primus (1919-94), a professional modern dancer and pioneer in the field of dance anthropology who influenced American culture, dance, and education. The authors base the biography on interviews with Primus's family, friends, and fellow artists. Along with other black dancers, Primus fought against racism in dance, theater, and society at large. Her self-identification as a black dancer and quest for cultural retrieval though dance "claimed" her, and she was responsible for the flowering of African and African-based cultural expression in dance in America. This biography reveals dance as both product and producer of culture; one of the foremost African American dancers of the 20th century, Primus used dance as a weapon to fight segregation, in venues from political rallies to Broadway and the modern dance concert stage. This is an excellent source for those interested in American and African American studies, women's studies, and, of course, American modern dance, dance anthropology, and dance education. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. C. T. Bond Goucher College

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