- 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
This chapter applies spatial practice theory to the intersections of power relations, social spaces, and embodied performance in the dance culture of Great Depression-era Harlem. Tracing the movement in black communities away from signifiers of ethnicity toward social-class-based hierarchies, it shows how ethnicized tropes have been used to exoticize and commodify black identity and to create the American black/white racial binary. This strategy has its roots in the marketing labels of the slave trade and the performative tropes of minstrel shows, and it continued in the floor shows of the Cotton Club and other “jungle alley” nightclubs in Harlem. The chapter charts the trajectory of the Savoy Ballroom’s drift from an upscale, dignified dance palace to an incubator for the lindy hop and Harlem’s other popular dance innovations. It argues that considering dance demands a model of ethnicity that creates more space for individual agency and processes of self-definition.
Christopher J. Wells is Assistant Professor of Musicology in the School of Music at Arizona State University and Managing Editor of the Journal of Jazz Studies
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.