Diasporic dialogues in Black concert dance : racial politics, dance history, and aesthetics
This report examines diasporic dialogues in Black concert dance focusing on dialogues between Brazil and the United States and analyzes how racial politics and cultural exchanges contributed to shape a Black aesthetic in Brazil. Since the beginning of the 20th century, both the presence/passage of US Black dancers/choreographers in Brazil and the presence/passage of Brazilian Black dancers/choreographers in the United States enabled the formation of socio-political networks among artists and cultural cross-fertilization between these countries. Katherine Dunham’s visit in Brazil and Mercedes Batista’s visit in the United States during the 1950s were formative of a Brazilian black concert dance and had left a lasting imprint in black modern dance in the U.S. as well. This report attempts a close reading of the dialogues between Dunham and Batista that shaped the dance techniques and repertoire that make up black modern and postmodern dance in the African diaspora.