Beautiful videos. Such a deep well of cultural tradition. Love the grass skirts in Yemi Alade's Johnny video (forgive my shallowness, but Mercy). I must say I don’t know too many American black woman that can move like that. We’ve booty shakers and twerkers yes, but this is unique rhythm. Although many of us may hail from the states, our bloodline extends far across the seas. Its hard-wired in us- this strange cadence. I think African dance has always been from the waist down, so to me twerking is nothing new. Simply a variation of an age-old tradition. With that being said, several videos come to mind. Khayelitsha:Xhosa Street Dancers in Cape Town:Xhosa Girls Dance in Cape Town:Tshwane Traditional Dancers:And lastly:Egbabonelimwin:Let me just say Imperial Russian Ballet and its storehouse of tradition/discipline ain’t got nothin on us.
I was wondering when you'd comment. Let's just say I thought of you quite often as I was putting these up. ;)
Oh dearest I have so much to thank you for as I’ve learned much from visiting this site. To observe as these actors tarry in the richness that is culture and know that I sprang from it makes me so proud it’s hard to contain myself. Let me just say the ones you so aptly chose were not squandered on me.
Darn my senility. Don’t want to leave other women of color out, as Grace comes in all shapes and sizes. If white people get their way you may not recognize these traditions in a few years. White inclusion will corrupt the essence that can only be found in women of color.Furthermore, I’m seriously considering getting the Mrs.a few of them hula skirts (Strictly for scientific/observational reasons you understand). Problem is, she threw her hip out doing the Monterey Dance some months back, likewise- considering the fact that my wife hasn’t boogied in over 30 years, I seriously doubt her cavort would have the same holistic effect as the women in these videos. But here’s hoping.
Agreed. just imagine people like Miley Cyrus dancing along with these women in their native land..Oh God no!What is supposed to be meant for Africans is slowly being perverted by the U.S. Of course it's not about learning the culture/history behind the dance with them, it's about being them perverting what is supposed to be a beautiful inspirational dance. I guess being Black/African-American can't really be bad when White society emulate it.
"Agreed. just imagine people like Miley Cyrus dancing along with these women in their native land..Oh God no!"I wholeheartedly concur. Two white women come to mind. Under the topic: Honor Minority Traditions in Their Own Racist Ways A French dancer named Alizee Sery drew a lot of angry attention to one of her performances.In a subsequent interview, Sery defended her actions by claiming, "What I did was a tribute to their culture, in a way. I think the way I was, was the perfect way to be up there, in total harmony with the land and with myself."And of course Ann Pennington: known for her athletic rendition of the Black Bottom Dance. From Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston: “The soon-to-be famous dance called the Black Bottom, which required dancers to slap their "Backsides" (that's right, our big black asses) while hopping forward and backward, stamping their feet and gyrating their hips; was born in Jook Joints not far from where the Hurstons lived.”So allied to her was this new dance craze, most whites found it easy to negate the cultural/sociological conditions from which it sprang. (Like Benny Goodman being hailed as the King of Swing when he knew damn-well where the music originated from). Art forms mind you which only find “True Expression” in the hands of African Americans. Ann’s mediocre elucidations drew mockery/derision from a people well-versed in the art of soul. When white people profit (by appropriating our music and swagger) it’s always performed under the allusion of "paying tribute to the culture."
As an aside: The one thing that struck me in the above and related videos was The Thick…Robust physiques of the young women (namely that light-skinned beauty on the left). Apparently size has no relevance in these ceremonial dances, as the participants (considered obese by Euro-Western standards) move just as gracefully and fluidly as the skinny ones. Again, this is something you just don’t see in Western Media. Michelangelo was wrong I think. As for me, Woman, is the highest object of art; who is like her in all creation?
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