The Amherst College Theater & Dance Department is excited to present its Spring 2018 symposium African American Dance: Form, Function and Style!

Special events will be offered February through April, leading up up to the symposium on April 13-14! Check the schedule for all upcoming events.

All events are free and open to Five College students, faculty and community.
                                                         Registration is recommended
Dr. Yvonne Daniel, Smith College Professor Emerita of Dance and Afro-American Studies will present the symposium keynote address.

African American Dance: Form, Function and Style offers participants and attendees an opportunity to dialogue about meanings of/in Black dance. Along with guest presenters, Five College Dance faculty and students will participate as performers and presenters of significant practice and/or research modes. Program events will explore the history and practice of African American dance through talks, master dance classes, workshops and performances, select films relevant to the history and development of Black dance aesthetics, vocabulary and choreography, and dance photography and documentation. In addition, M’bewe Escobar’s spring dance history course, The Art of Black Dance: A Panoramic Study, will link to the symposium through its focus on African American concert dance, and its important relation to vernacular and street dance.

The symposium will engage with the continuing contributions to American dance by African American and Black diasporic choreographers and dancers, with a focus on history and practice. It builds upon the attention to Black dance creativity at the Five Colleges generated by Bebe Miller’s 2017 Neilson Professor residency at Smith College, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company's Story/Time 2016 FCDD repertory project, choreography resident Camille Brown at UMass and the FCDD (2011-12), the UMass Sankofa Project: Celebrating African Roots in American Dance (2001-2009), and the 1997 FCDD conference devoted to African American concert dance organized by Professor Emerita Yvonne Daniel and Professor Jim Coleman.

Organized by Ninoska M’bewe Escobar, Consortium for Faculty Diversity Scholar in Theater and Dance at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College Department of Theater and Dance, Five College Dance Department, The Arts at Amherst Initiative, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for Community Engagement, and African and Caribbean Students Union.