Theorizing Connectivity: African American Women in Concert Dance

Journal Article (Academic article)

This essay explores genealogies of Black women’s presence in American modern dance to theorize connectivity as a methodology to appreciate their creative work. The legacies of more familiar dance artists, including Pearl Primus and Katherine Dunham, are discussed in relation to achievements and interventions by less-discussed, but no less important, African American women including Joan Myers Brown, Judy Dearing, Thelma Hill, Carole Johnson, and Edisa Weeks. The essay offers evidence of a radical creative tradition within these genealogies; one that has been less widely appreciated by mainstream histories of dance, but surely influential in the creation of American concert dance.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • DeFrantz, T

Published Date

  • September 2011

Published In

  • Journal of Pan African Studies

Volume / Issue

  • 4 /


  • 6

Start / End Page

  • 56 - 74