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Working against the Music: Geoffrey Holder’s Elsewhen

Working against the Music: Geoffrey Holder’s Elsewhen

Chapter:
(p.163) Five Working against the Music: Geoffrey Holder’s Elsewhen
Source:
Stolen Time
Author(s):
Shane Vogel
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226568584.003.0005

This chapter turns to Geoffrey Holder to locate the calypso craze in relation to modern black concert dance in the 1940s and 1950s, when black dancers developed new techniques by which to engage the ongoing encounter between Africa, Europe, and the New World. While the commercialized calypso craze seems far removed from the high art context of black concert dance, they were in fact coextensive with each other, and dancers moved between these spheres. Albeit in very different modes, both the calypso craze and black concert dance staged the African diaspora in performances that rerouted the assumptions of racial authenticity toward new aesthetic expressions.

Keywords:   Geoffrey Holder, Elsewhen, black concert dance, high art, calypso craze, African diaspora, performance, authenticity, aesthetic expression

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