"If you can only read one work about dance practice in the Caribbean, this is a place to start."--Dance Critics Association Newsletter
"Vivid descriptions and revealing scholarship inspire the reader to go out and find a dance to watch in real life."--Tamara Johnson, Dance Magazine
"This groundbreaking book is an intriguing read for anyone who's ever spun out on a dance floor, or wanted to."--Elizabeth Zimmer, The Village Voice
Caribbean Dance from Abakua to Zouk is an unprecedented overview of the dances from each of this region's major islands and the complex, fused, and layered cultures that gave birth to them. The authors in this collection, from distinguished cultural leaders to highly innovative choreographers, reveal how dance shapes personal, communal, and national identity. They also show how Caribbean rhythms, dances, fragments of movement, and even attitudes toward movement reach beyond the islands and through the extensive West Indian diaspora communities in North America, Latin America, and Europe to be embraced by the world at large.
From the anthropological to the literary and from the practical to the creative, these dances are explored in the contexts of social history, tradition, ritual, and performance. Connections are made among a fascinating array of dances, both familiar and little known, from culturally based to newly created performance pieces. Particular emphasis is placed on the African contribution in making Caribbean dance distinctive. An extensive glossary of terms and more than 30 illustrations round out the book to make it the most complete resource on Caribbean dance available.
Susanna Sloat is a writer, editor, and arts consultant in New York City.
No Sample Chapter AvailableAwards
DE LA TORRE BUENO AWARD - 2002
"This groundbreaking book is an intriguing read for anyone who's ever spun out on a dance floor, or wanted to."
"Delivers a surprisingly thorough education...
The reader gets the feeling of being on a tour, passing from guide to guide among the islands."
"Vivid descriptions and revealing scholarship inspire the reader to go out and find a dance to watch in real life."
"This volume grows on you--like an infectious mambo that gradually compels the most prudish observer to succumb to the beats. And it delivers a surprisingly thorough education."
"The vivid descriptions and revealing scholarship inspire the reader to go out and find a dance to watch in real life."
"The contributors to this volume offer many insights that even the seasoned scholar will find useful."
--Latin American Research Review
"The writers use wit, wisdom, and admirable research (supported by an extensive glossary and bibliography) to enlighten and teach readers about this neglected area of dance."