Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tricks of Memory : the Cake-Walk and the first black artists in France.
Wednesday, November 5 at 6:30 pm at the Ethical Society, 1906 South Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.
Following in the tracks of the cake-walk… The cake-walk was the dance performed by black slaves on the plantations in the South in the United States. Sometimes the masters allowed them to borrow frock coats and top hats, which they took brilliant advantage of to caricaturize the lenders in a sort of saraband which evoked the drawing room dances of the period. And as a reward, the best of them received a large slice of cake, whence the name cake walk. Remember that this dance was the forerunner of jazz dances. As a follow-up to this undertaking by the Elks – the cake-walk dancers – images of the first black artists, dancers or musicians who came to France will be projected: Josephine Baker, Johnny Hudgins, Katherine Dunham, the Nicholas Brothers, Duke Ellington, Sydney Bechet and many more. As if Paris had, once and for all, been part of their destiny.