In Conversation: Dancer/Choreographer Mbulelo Ndabeni on stage in “Tree” — Bespoke Event Guide

Alt caught up with Mbulelo Ndabeni the South African born London-based choreographer, dancer, teacher, movement director. Ndabeni is also founder and director of N’da Dance Company. His training in ballet, Southern African dance and contemporary dance at some of the top dance establishments around the world have seen him perform with top UK and international […]

In Conversation: Dancer/Choreographer Mbulelo Ndabeni on stage in “Tree” — Bespoke Event Guide

Interview: Jessica Kalissa Director – Queens of Sheba — Bespoke Event Guide

“I’ve learnt so much. The main thing is that solidarity is so important and that having a safe space of for black women is so important because it’s important that every person has a space to feel heard.” The play Queens of Sheba is written by Jessica L. Hagan and presented by the creative movement Nouveau […]

Interview: Jessica Kalissa Director – Queens of Sheba — Bespoke Event Guide

2019 MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellows

There are twenty-six 2019 MacArthur Foundation Genius Fellows, featured below are a select few – two of whom I have had to pleasure to dialogue with at some point in time and one whose work directed me to important discoveries during my PhD research. Please click on their photos to find out more about them. My Congratulations to all of the 2019 MacArthur Fellows!! I believe in one way or another we are all better human being because of your courage and perseverance in sharing your gifts! Thank you.

Sujatha Baliga, 48, attorney and restorative justice practitioner
Walter Hood, 61, landscape and public artist
Kelly Lytle Hernández, 45, historian
Emmanuel Pratt, 42, urban designer, co-founder of Sweet Water Foundation
Saidiya Hartman, 58, literary scholar and cultural historian

Death and Dance

Death: A demanding dance partner, easy to ferocious jealousy and vengefulness when ignored. Death deserves the honor and reverence of its central place in the life cycle of the living.  Cultures around the world have historically understood that studied attention to death is essential for the forging of communities in which members can productively negotiate livable lives and well-being.  Ceremonies around death require that song, dance, laughter, drink,  and verbal roasting of the life that has transitioned to that ultimate Other, death.  With death a family, a community,  enters into a full-bodied dance of paradoxical reality and imaginings of the dead’s past, present, and future relationship with, to and in the community.   In between the one-two rock, the moans that sings and screams, whimpers, the wailings and chest beating, hand wringing and twisting,   the dialogue between the death and life is marked by bodies, on bodies, between, in-between and beyond bodies in full embodiment.  Death will dance time and again with the living, and the living will, however reluctantly, dance.

The two writers, Toni Morrison and Paule Marshall, served as beacons in my life. They helped me understand that there was language, and that language can be molded and manipulated, to articulate my experience as an African Diaspora girl/woman moving through multiple spaces of un-belonging. And, my two aunts, separated by a decade in age, kept me in deep belonging, never allowing me to mis-remember family history and my place in it. As this summer 2019 comes to a close, I dance in recognition and honor of the lives of these four amazing women.

Sharing this: Dance: (From Sept. 19, 2018) DTH Founder Arthur Mitchell Dies at 84 — BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

(This post was originally posted on my Facebook page to mark the death of DTH Founder Arthur Mitchell on Sept. 19, ,2018) Somewhere back in Chicago at my mom’s house, there is a photo of me in all my little 10-year-old impishness, standing in front of the Dance Theatre of Harlem next to Arthur Mitchell. […]

via Dance: (From Sept. 19, 2018) DTH Founder Arthur Mitchell Dies at 84 — BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

A Twisting Journey From the Archives to (hopefully) the Public

Please take some time to read both articles:

Black history is for sale in Chicago.  Whoever owns the culture, controls the narrative
Jenee Osterheldt

Ebony’s Photo Archives Were on the Verge of Being Hidden Away Forever.   Now They Will Be Made Public
Julie Bosman

Thoughts for Today

Poised To Ban Hair Discrimination


Don’t Let Me Be Lonely

Born in Jamaica in 1963, Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014), which received the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. She served as a Chancellorof the Academy of American Poets from 2013 to 2018.






“Dancing in Blackness, A Memoir” wins the 2019 Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize in Dance Aesthetics


The American Society for Aesthetics is pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Selma Jeanne Cohen Prize in Dance Aesthetics, Dancing in Blackness: A Memoir, by Halifu Osumare, published by the University Press of Florida in 2018.

Dr. Halifu Osumare is Professor Emerita in the Department of African American and African Studies (AAS) at University of California, Davis, and was the Director of AAS from 2011-2014. She has been a dancer, choreographer, arts administrator, and scholar of black popular culture for over forty years. With a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and an MA in Dance Ethnology from S.F. State University, she is also a protégé of the late renowned dancer-anthropologist Katherine Dunham and a Certified Instructor of Dunham Dance Technique.

She has been recognized as one of the foremost scholars of global hip-hop, publishing The Africanist Aesthetic in Global Hip-Hop: Power Moves in 2007 and, and The Hiplife in Ghana: West African Indigenization of Hip-Hop in 2012, after her 2008 Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Ghana, Legon. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on hip-hop, dance, and Katherine Dunham.

The prize was established in 2008 in memory of Selma Jeanne Cohen, and with enormous gratitude for her generous bequest to the ASA. The $1000 prize is awarded every year, for critical articles or books of distinction in dance aesthetics, dance theory, or the history of dance published in English.

Dr. Osumare will be presented with the prize at the 77th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics in Phoenix October 9-12, 2019. She also will be honored at the annual Dance Scholars Breakfast at the meeting.

Read more here: