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date: 04 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the tripartite formation of who, what, and how in considerations of Africanist aesthetics and Black mobilizations that fuel contemporary ballet. Who dances contemporary ballet, and are they Black? What sorts of Black dance movements are deployed in contemporary ballet? And, most important, how does a Black attitude mark performances within ballet as belonging to a contemporary moment? The chapter presumes that contemporary ballet emerges in direct relationship to Africanist aesthetics. It considers work by William Forsythe, Alonzo King, and Twyla Tharp as a trio of artists whose work continues to circulate with different relationships to questions of Black dancers, dances, dancing, and the contemporary.

Keywords: Black dance, Africanist aesthetics, Alonzo King, William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Black mobilizations

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