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Dancing RevolutionBodies, Space, and Sound in American Cultural History$
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Christopher J. Smith

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042393

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042393.001.0001

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A Tale of Two Cities I

A Tale of Two Cities I

Akimbo Bodies and the English Caribbean

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter 2 A Tale of Two Cities I
Source:
Dancing Revolution
Author(s):

Christopher J. Smith

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042393.003.0003

The first of two companion chapters, this essay focuses especially on the historical meeting of European and African American movement vocabularies in English-speaking early-nineteenth-century contexts. It focuses particularly upon public music and dance in two creolized cities: Kingston, Jamaica, and New York City. Primary source evidence includes period illustrations (most notably, a ca. 1802 watercolor entitled A Grand Jamaica Ball) and period accounts of entertainments at lower Manhattan’s African Grove Theater; both are analyzed for the evidence they provide regarding the synthesis of creolized movement vocabularies and, by extension, cultural experiences. Methodology is drawn especially from iconography and kinesics.

Keywords:   nineteenth century, Jamaica, Manhattan, iconography, theatre, African American, festival, Pinkster, Jonconnu

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