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The Dance Historian Is In with Dasha Chapman

The Dance Historian Is In with Dasha Chapman

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Dance scholar Dr. Dasha Chapman curates selections from and speaks about the Haitian folkloric dance materials held at the Dance Division.

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*Rescheduled to June 29, 2022.*

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In the latest session of our series The Dance Historian Is In, dance scholar Dr. Dasha A. Chapman curates selections from and speaks about the Haitian folkloric dance materials held at the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the Library for the Performing Arts. These moving documents register points on the continuum of Haitian folkloric dance’s history, which began with the documentation and staging of Haitian traditional dances in the 1930s and 1940s, and still evolves today with contemporary dance artists.

What is Haitian folkloric dance? How was it first developed and how can we understand its more recent trajectories? Who are influential artists in the shaping, teaching, choreographing, and dissemination of the form? What motivates artists to continue shepherding Haitian folkloric dance despite the many social, cultural, and economic barriers to its thriving? Dr. Chapman will answer these questions and more.

In this presentation, Chapman will share glimpses into archival footage of the sacred contexts from which this concert dance form derives, folkloric dance classes taught by luminary pedagogues, and performances by renowned companies and choreographers. Some artists featured include Jean-Léon Destiné, Viviane Gauthier, Katherine Dunham, Lavinia Williams, Emerante de Pradines Morse, and Odette Weiner.

The Dance Historian Is In is dedicated to David Vaughan. Vaughan was the archivist of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and author of Merce Cunningham/65 Years and Frederick Ashton and His Ballets. From 2012-2017, Vaughan held monthly screenings of his favorite dance films and videos from our collection. Vaughan passed away in October 2017, and the Jerome Robbins Dance Division has continued screenings in his honor with guest hosts.

Photo: Jean-Léon Destiné.

*Rescheduled to June 29, 2022.*

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