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Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance

Igniting Citizenship

Yvonne Daniel

Publication Year: 2011

In Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship, Yvonne Daniel provides a sweeping cultural and historical examination of Diaspora dance genres. Daniel investigates social dances brought to the islands by Europeans and Africans, including quadrilles and drum/dances as well as popular dances that followed, such as Carnival parading, Pan-Caribbean danzas, rumba, merengue, mambo, reggae, and zouk. She reviews sacred dance and closely documents combat dances, such as Martinican ladja, Trinidadian kalinda, and Cuban juego de maní. In drawing on scores of performers and consultants from the region as well as on her own professional dance experience and acumen, Daniel adeptly places Caribbean dance in the context of cultural and economic globalization, connecting local practices to transnational and global processes and emphasizing the important role of dance in critical regional tourism. Throughout, Daniel reveals impromptu and long-lasting Diaspora communities of participating dancers and musicians.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiv

There is never enough space to thank everyone who has contributed to a comprehensive study; however, I want to give proper thanks to the generous co-workers who have supported my research as well as the writing of this book. My apologies for the lengthy list, but first, I thank my collaborator in the Carnival chapter of this volume, ...

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pp. xv-xviii

Many lovers of the dance are engaged profoundly by African dance, and the aim of this book is to provide a thorough background for those interested in the Caribbean and Afro-Latin contributions to African Diaspora dance. ...

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Chapter 1. Diaspora Dance: Courageous Performers

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pp. 1-19

Throughout the human world, dance is powerful, nonverbal, expressive body communication. Almost everywhere, dance provides festive relaxation and connects movement and music making to things and events beyond entertainment, recreation, or creativity. ...

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Chapter 2. Diaspora Dance in the History of Dance Studies

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pp. 20-40

This chapter offers a substantive review of the research findings that have constituted a growing literature on African Diaspora dance and provides annotation of the many references discussed and cited in following chapters. It emphasizes a thorough grounding in Caribbean dance by reviewing the major Caribbean, Afro-Latin, Diaspora U.S., ...

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Chapter 3. Contredanse and Caribbean Bodies

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pp. 41-76

The category of social dance comprises drum/dances, set dances, parading dances, national dances, popular dances, and fad dances,1 which are the subjects of the next four chapters. All chapters relay the varied meanings of social dance. They address differences—among several types of social dance and among several meanings for Diaspora peoples. ...

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Chapter 4. Creole Dances in National Rhythms

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pp. 77-92

Creole dance creations have become synonymous with island identity: Cuban danzón or rumba, Jamaican reggae, Trinidadian calypso, Dominican merengue, and French Caribbean zouk are some examples. These and other social dances have come to light first as popular community dances and often thereafter as endeared folk or ballroom forms …

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Chapter 5. Caribbean Popular Dance: Transformations

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pp. 93-107

Popular dance in the Caribbean is distinguished by Creole innovation and intra-Caribbean music mixtures. The previous chapter tracked the development of a few Creole innovations from the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the result of two or more distinctly different parent sources (danzón and bomba, for example). ...

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Chapter 6. Parading the Carnivalesque: Masking Circum-Caribbean Demands

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pp. 108-128

Imagine that you have just made the journey to the Caribbean or Circum-Caribbean Brazil to experience Carnival. You step into the anarchy of the streets; out of the crowd a ruffian appears in face paint, dreadlocks adorned with mismatched feathers and other suspicious-looking items, and a t-shirt adorned with a phrase ending in an exclamation point. ...

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Chapter 7. Resilient Diaspora Rituals

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pp. 129-158

In the line of Brenda Gottschild and Katrina Hazzard-Gordon, who documented erasures and neglect of African contributions to dance in the United States, I now draw attention to underexamined histories and the connections between Afro-Latin America and the Caribbean. ...

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Chapter 8. Ferocious Dance

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pp. 159-169

This chapter briefly examines Martinican ladja/danmyé, Cuban juego de maní, Trinidadian kalinda, Curacaoan tambú/kokomakaku, and Brazilian capoeira/maculelê, and it advances the inclusion of armed and unarmed combat rituals within Caribbean dance categories. These combat forms are filled with smooth body mechanics, …

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Chapter 9. Tourism, Globalization, and Caribbean Dance

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pp. 170-188

In light of increased economic pressures and cultural collisions that have resulted in the wake of political globalization in the twenty-first century, dance investigation now seeks to unravel artistic trends in the Diaspora and to clarify how dancers and dance forms are encouraged, developed, and protected, particularly in the Caribbean. ...

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Conclusion. Igniting Diaspora Citizenship

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pp. 189-196

As previous chapters have indicated, there is an enormous amount of information within Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora dance—beyond the physical articulation and expression of the body. These dances share with many other dance practices the splendor of the human body moving in space and time and creating aesthetic awe, ...


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pp. 197-222


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pp. 223-252


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pp. 253-266

About the Author, Publication Information

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E-ISBN-13: 9780252093579
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252036538

Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Dance -- Caribbean Area.
  • Dance -- Social aspects -- Caribbean Area.
  • Dance -- Anthropological aspects -- Caribbean Area.
  • Dance -- Caribbean Area -- African influences.
  • Dance -- Caribbean Area -- European influences.
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