Black Performance Theory

Thomas F. DeFrantz

Published by Duke University Press, 2014
ISBN 10: 0822356074 / ISBN 13: 9780822356073
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Synopsis: Black performance theory is a rich interdisciplinary area of study and critical method. This collection of new essays by some of its pioneering thinkers-many of whom are performers-demonstrates the breadth, depth, innovation, and critical value of black performance theory. Considering how blackness is imagined in and through performance, the contributors address topics including flight as a persistent theme in African American aesthetics, the circulation of minstrel tropes in Liverpool and in Afro-Mexican settlements in Oaxaca, and the reach of hip-hop politics as people around the world embrace the music and dance. They examine the work of contemporary choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Reggie Wilson, the ways that African American playwrights translated the theatricality of lynching to the stage, the ecstatic music of Little Richard, and Michael Jackson's performance in the documentary This Is It. The collection includes several essays that exemplify the performative capacity of writing, as well as discussion of a project that re-creates seminal hip-hop album covers through tableaux vivants. Whether deliberating on the tragic mulatta, the trickster figure Anansi, or the sonic futurism of Nina Simone and Adrienne Kennedy, the essays in this collection signal the vast untapped critical and creative resources of black performance theory. Contributors. Melissa Blanco Borelli, Daphne A. Brooks, Soyica Diggs Colbert, Thomas F. DeFrantz, Nadine George-Graves, Anita Gonzalez, Rickerby Hinds, Jason King, D. Soyini Madison, Koritha Mitchell, Tavia Nyong'o, Carl Paris, Anna B. Scott, Wendy S. Walters, Hershini Bhana Young

Review: "This is theory that dances. [...] Black Performance Theory convenes 14 scholars and practitioners of Africana performance and bids them dance and groove across national, hemispheric, oceanic, planetary, disciplinary, epochal, formal, and methodological boundaries in pursuit of blackness in motion."--La Marr Jurelle Bruce "The Drama Review "

"With this compelling volume, DeFrantz and Gonzalez provide less a settled corpus of methodologies applied to a canon of academically sanctioned performance genres than an articulation and elaboration of black corporealities, vocalities, and 'sensibilities' across a heterogeneous field of performative enunciations--'high' and pop culture, geographically dispersed and diasporic. . . . This promises to become a key work. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals."--R. Remshardt "Choice "

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Title: Black Performance Theory
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Hardback
Book Condition: New

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