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.
Ntozake Shange (1948-2018) was a renowned poet, novelist, playwright, and performer, best known for her Broadway-produced and Obie Award-winning choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. She wrote numerous works of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, including If I Can Cook/You Know God Can, Wild Beauty, Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo, Betsey Brown, and Liliane. Alexis Pauline Gumbs is the author of M Archive- After the End of the World and Spill- Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity and the co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering- Love on the Front Lines. She is the founder of Brilliance Remastered, an organization that supports under-represented scholars, artists, and organizers. Alexis has received numerous awards and recognitions such as the Advocate Magazine's 40 under 40 and Colorlines 10 LGBTQ Leaders Transforming the South. Renee L. Charlow is a director, performer, and writer. She is a professor of Theatre at Shepherd University and a professor of Literature at Southern New Hampshire University. She served as an associate producer and assistant director for the production of Shange's Lost in Language and Sound at the Karamu House in Cleveland, OH.
Outlive: Dance and the Eternal Life of Ntozake Shange Foreword by Alexis Pauline Gumbs Introduction Dance in My Life Fred Benjamin Raymond Sawyer Dianne McIntyre Mickey Davidson Halifu Osumare Ed Mock An Interview with Dyane Harvey Eleo Pomare Otis Sallid An Interview with Camille A. Brown An Interview with Davalois Fearon Afterword by Rene
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