Narratives in Black British Dance: an introduction

In order to introduce the narratives in the chapters that follow, this introductory chapter positions a range of approaches to the terms Black, British, and Dance. The chapter discusses how artists who identify are cross contribute to a dance scene whose complexities and stories are often invisiblized. <blockquote>Akinleye, A.(2018). Narratives in Black British Dance: an introduction, in Akinleye (ed.) Narratives in Black British dance: embodied practices. London: Palgrave MacMillian pp. 1- 17 </blockquote> <a href="https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319703138">Visit the Publisher</a>
Book cover: Narratives in Black British Dance

In order to introduce the narratives in the chapters that follow across the book, this introductory chapter positions a range of approaches to the terms Black, British, and Dance. The chapter discusses how artists who identify are cross contribute to a dance scene whose complexities and stories are often invisiblized. The chapter discusses contexts for talking about the dancing body, to expose them as having concealed Black, British dance stories in the past. I draw attention to the context of the historical legacy of abuse to the ‘Black body’ and the effects the has on how Black dancers are audience today. I offer a (re)articulation of the physical and cultural mapping of the richness of British dance.

The book as a whole explores Black British dance from a number of previously-untold perspectives. Bringing together the voices of dance-artists, scholars, teachers and choreographers, it looks at a range of performing arts from dancehall to ballet, providing valuable insights into dance theory, performance, pedagogy, identity and culture. It challenges the presumption that Blackness, Britishness or dance are monolithic entities, instead arguing that all three are living networks created by rich histories, diverse faces and infinite future possibilities. Through a variety of critical and creative essays, this book suggests a widening of our conceptions of what British dance looks like, where it appears, and who is involved in its creation.

Citation: Akinleye, A.(2018). Narratives in Black British Dance: an introduction, in Akinleye (ed.) Narratives in Black British Dance: embodied practices. London: Palgrave MacMillian pp. 1- 17 

 

Contents for context with book: 

(editor Adesola Akinleye)

1. Narratives in Black British dance: an introduction – Adesola Akinleye

Part i 

2. “I don’t do Black-Dance, I am a Black dancer” – Namron

3. Dance Britannia: the impact of global shifts on dance in Britain – Christy Adair and Ramsay Burt

4. Negotiating African Diasporic identity in dance: brown bodies creating and existing in the British dance industry – Tia-Monique Uzor

5.Tracing the evolution of Black representation in ballet and the impact on Black British dancers today – Sandie Bourne

6. In-the-between-ness; decolonising and re-inhabiting our dancing – Adesola Akinleye and Helen Kindred

Part ii

7. Trails of Ado: Kokuma’s cultural self-defence – Thea Barnes

8. Moving Tu Balance: an African holistic dance as a vehicle for personal development from a Black British perspective – Sandra Golding

9. ‘Why I am not a fan of the Lion King’: ethically informed approach to the teaching and learning of South African dance forms in Higher Education in the United Kingdom – Sarahleigh Castelyn

10. Performativity of body paintingL symbolic ritual as diasporic identity – Chikukwango Cuxima-Zwa

11. Dancehall: a continuity of spiritual, corporeal practice in Jamaican dance – H. Patten

12. Our Ethiopian connection: embodied Ethiopian culture as a tool in urban-contemporary choreography – Ras Mikey (Michael) Courtney

13. Reflections: snapshots of dancing home, 1985, 2010 and 2012 – Hopal Romans

Part iii

14. Battling under Britannia’s shadow: UK jazz dancing in the 1970s and 1980s – Jane Carr

15. Caribfunk Technique: a new feminist/womanist futuristic technology in Black dance studies in Higher Education – A’Keitha Carey

16. More similarities than differences: searching for new pathways – Beverley Glean and Rosie Lehan

17. Epistemology of the weekend: Youth Dance Theatre – Hopal Romans, Adesola Akinleye, and Michael Joseph

18. Transatlantic voyages: then and now – Anita Gonzalez