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  • Published: 13 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9780807091876
  • Imprint: Beacon Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 152
  • RRP: $34.99

Dance We Do

A Poet Explores Black Dance



In her first posthumous work, the revered poet crafts a personal history of Black dance and captures the careers of legendary dancers along with her own rhythmic beginnings

Many learned of Ntozake Shange's ability to blend movement with words when her acclaimed choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf made its way to Broadway in 1976, eventually winning an Obie Award the following year. But before she found fame as a writer, poet, performer, dancer, and storyteller, she was an untrained student who found her footing in others' classrooms.

After 20 years of research, writing, and devotion, Ntozake Shange tells her history of Black dance through a series of portraits of the dancers who trained her, moved with her, and inspired her to share the power of the Black body with her audience. She explores how Black dance speaks to the overlapping histories and diverse cultures that stem from the diaspora, and honors the contributions of the often unrecognized pioneers who continued the path Katherine Dunham paved through the 20th century. Featuring a range of artistry and crossing generational lines, Shange sits down with prominent figures such as Mickey Davidson, Halifu Osumare, Camille Brown, and Dianne McIntyre in personal interviews. In what is now one of her final works, Ntozake Shange welcomes the reader into the world she loved best. Dance We Do is a tribute to those who taught her, the art she cherished, and her passion for rhythm, movement, and dance.

  • Published: 13 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9780807091876
  • Imprint: Beacon Press
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 152
  • RRP: $34.99

About the author

Ntozake Shange

Ntozake Shange is a renowned playwright (for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf), poet (nappy edges and The Love Space Demands) and novelist (Betsey Brown and Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo). Her most recent book is an illustrated volume of poetry, i live in music. She lives in Philadelphia.

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