Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance

Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 296
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09357-9
    Subjects: History, Anthropology, Performing Arts

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xx)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Diaspora Dance: Courageous Performers
    (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. Even though dance comes from the aesthetic domain of social life, it contains strong links to political, religious, and even economic domains. For example, dance can articulate politics in the spinning and breaking virtuosity of youths as they take charge of urban spaces after being ostracized elsewhere; it can articulate resistance within historically suppressed and marginalized religious rituals; and it can articulate economics at the core of tourist...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Diaspora Dance in the History of Dance Studies
    (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., and African dance studies and acknowledges the beginnings of Diaspora dance studies with Katherine Dunham’s publications on Caribbean dance.

    African Diaspora dance research began with three dancers who forged a specialization within the field of anthropology. That field examines the cultural contexts of dance performance and has been called dance anthropology,...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Contredanse and Caribbean Bodies
    (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. They presume a historical, ongoing flow of dance exchange over time, between the folk and nobility, peasants and aristocracy, and rural and urban dwellers.²

    In this chapter, I concentrate oncontredanse-derived practices in representative Caribbean sites that I surveyed during fieldwork 2005–06. My findings suggest that historical...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Creole Dances in National Rhythms
    (pp. 77-92)

    Creole dance creations have become synonymous with island identity: Cubandanzónorrumba, Jamaicanreggae, Trinidadiancalypso, Dominicanmerengue, and French Caribbeanzoukare 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 that have permeated the region and sometimes the world. In their sites of origin, the dances became popular because of their capacity to generate contagious pleasure and their close alignment with both local conditions and island values.¹ This chapter focuses first on several Caribbean national dances and then examines national dance...

  10. Photographs
    (pp. None)
  11. CHAPTER FIVE Caribbean Popular Dance Transformations
    (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 moredistinctly differentparent sources (danzónandbomba, for example). This chapter dwells on intra-Caribbean dances and their dance music mixtures, the result ofdistinctly similarparent sources or second-generation Caribbean Creole. For example, Haitianrasinis a combination of Haitian religious and folkloric music with social and commercial genres like Haitianmereng/konpaand Cubancasino/salsa. Other intra-Caribbean mixtures include: the blend of...

  12. CHAPTER SIX Parading the Carnivalesque: Masking Circum-Caribbean Demands (With Catherine Evleshin)
    (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. The youth shouts threats in a language quite removed from your high school French or Portuguese, or your native English or Spanish. He dances about until you hand him a five-dollar bill. If you look genuinely baffled and give him nothing, he flashes a...

  13. CHAPTER SEVEN Resilient Diaspora Rituals
    (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. Following anthropologist Sheila Walker’s call in 2001 for Afrogenic analyses (the critical comparisonamongDiaspora cultures [and also in the line of the late Diaspora scholar St. Clair Drake]), I encourage more investigation of Diaspora erasures within Caribbean, Afro-Latin, and Afro-American performance with the following comparison of sacred dance.¹

    As a result of interactions within and among dance movement and instrumental...

  14. CHAPTER EIGHT Ferocious Dance
    (pp. 159-169)

    This chapter briefly examines Martinicanladja/danmyé, Cubanjuego de maní, Trinidadiankalinda, Curaçaoantambú/kokomakaku, and Braziliancapoeira/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, incredible strength, and percussive strikes and blows, but also dance moves, body games, and ample philosophy. As Katherine Dunham said, “The fascination of the real (Martinican ladja) lies not in the lust of the combat, but in the finesse of approach and retreat; the tension which becomes almost a hypnosis, then the flash of the two bodies as they...

  15. CHAPTER NINE Tourism, Globalization, and Caribbean Dance
    (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. Analyses of the interaction between tourism enterprises and dance genres, dance artists, and island governments raise issues concerning cultural and economic globalization.¹

    Resources on the islands are scarce generally, with only moderate to minimal dependence on sugar, nickel, tobacco, coffee, and fish in the Spanish islands; bananas, pineapples, sisal, nickel,...

  16. CONCLUSION. Igniting Diaspora Citizenship
    (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, but Diaspora dance also contains the major concerns of Diaspora dancers. This volume’s review of dance genres across six Caribbean and Atlantic linguistic areas has ultimately revealed core corporeal, cultural, and sociological meanings of African Diaspora dance—namely, transcendence, resilience, and citizenship. Please note, however, that the focus has been...

  17. NOTES
    (pp. 197-222)
    (pp. 223-252)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 253-266)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 267-270)