Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dancing RevolutionBodies, Space, and Sound in American Cultural History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Blackface Transformations I

Blackface Transformations I

Modernism, Primitivism, and Race

Chapter:
(p.80) Chapter 6 Blackface Transformations I
Source:
Dancing Revolution
Author(s):

Christopher J. Smith

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042393.003.0007

This chapter investigates movement vocabularies associated with early-twentieth-century North American African American dance, particularly as specific performers adapted these exceptionally influential vocabularies in order to employ them for expressive and political purposes beyond the street: in the vaudeville theater, the Hollywood soundstage, and the mixed-race nightclub. This chapter suggests that these performers--Bill Robinson, Josephine Baker, and the Marx Brothers--possessed a sophisticated understanding of the transgressive power of African American street dance and deployed those movement vocabularies with intentional political effect in new, mass-market media. Methodology is drawn especially from film and drama theory, kinesics, and iconography.

Keywords:   twentieth century, African American, Bill Robinson, Josephine Baker, Marx Brothers, theatre, film, primitivism, blackface

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.