- The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity
- List of Contributors
- Dance and Ethnicity: Introduction
- “And I Make My Own”: Class Performance, Black Urban Identity, and Depression-Era Harlem’s Physical Culture
- “Do You Want to See My Hornpipe?” Creativity and Irish Step Dance in the Work of Jean Butler and Colin Dunne
- Dancing Jews and Jewesses: Jewishness, Ethnicity, and Exoticism in American Dance
- Queering Ethnicity and Shattering the Disco: Is There an Enduring Gay Ethnic Dance?
- Dancing Multiple Identities: Preserving and Revitalizing Dances of the Skolt Sámi
- To Call Dance Japanese: Nihon Buyô as Ethnic Dance
- Diasporic Ethnicity, Gender, and Dance: Muslim Macedonian Roma in New York
- “An Interesting Experiment in Eugenics”: Ted Shawn, American Dance, and the Discourses of Sex, Race, and Ethnicity
- Dancing Angels and Princesses: The Invention of an Ideal Female National Dancer in Twentieth-Century Iran
- The Spectacularization of Soviet/Russian Folk Dance: Igor Moiseyev and the Invented Tradition of Staged Folk Dance
- LADO, the State Ensemble of Croatian Folk Dances and Songs: Icon of Croatian Identity
- Authenticity and Ethnicity: Folk Dance, Americanization, and the Immigrant Body in the Early Twentieth Century
- A Folklorist’s View of “Folk” and “Ethnic” Dance: Three Ukrainian Examples
- The Jarabe Tapatío: Imagining Race, Nation, Class, and Gender in 1920s Mexico
- Perception, Connections, and Performed Identities in American-Ghanaian Dance Encounters
- Orientalism and the American Belly Dancer: Multiplicity, Authenticity, Identity
- Black Erased: The Tango de Negros in Spain’s Romantic Age
- English-Canadian Ethnocentricity: The Case Study of Boris Volkoff at the 1936 Nazi Olympics
- La Meri: Purveyor of the Dancing Other
- Choreographing Interculturalism: International Dance Performance at the American Museum of Natural History, 1943–1952
- “Hot” Latin Dance: Ethnic Identity and Stereotype
- From Salsa to Salzonto: Rhythmic Identities and Inventive Dance Traditions in Ghana
- Spectacles of Ethnicities: The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
- Dancecapes of Dionysus: From Kali Vrisi (Northern Greece) to the Olympics
- Ballet and Whiteness: Will Ballet Forever Be the Kingdom of the Pale?
- Men and the Happiness Dance
- From Powwow to Stomp Dance: Parallel Dance Traditions in Oklahoma
- Beyond Colonization, Commodification, and Reclamation: Hula and Hawaiian Identity
- Crossing the Seas of Southeast Asia: Indigenous Diasporic Islam and Performances of Women’s Igal
- San Miguel the Arcángel, Capitan of Many Troops: An Ethno-Iconographic Study of Danza de Migueles
- Black Dance after Race
Abstract and Keywords
The “ethnic dance” movement in the United States is closely associated with Ted Shawn, the “Father of American Dance” (1891–1972). Shawn and his wife and dancing partner, Ruth St. Denis, founded a dance company called Denishawn, whose repertory incorporated Native American, “Negro,” and Spanish folk dances. By the mid-1920s, Shawn viewed American dance in terms of moral and physical purity—a philosophy he based on the discourse of eugenics. This article explores how the eugenics movement informed Shawn’s vision of American dance in the 1920s, particularly with respect to two of his related writings, The American Ballet and “An American Ballet.” It explains how Shawn’s personal and professional relationship with Havelock Ellis, a British physician who was a leading proponent of the eugenics movement in Europe and whom he considered his idol, influenced his views about eugenics. It also examines how Shawn’s anxiety about his own sexual “unfitness” (his homosexuality) shaped his racist, nativist, and xenophobic “experiment” with eugenics in American dance.
Paul A. Scolieri, Barnard College
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