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Myself, Dancing: Choreographies of Black Womanhood in US Dance and History
Dance Research Journal  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-10-25, DOI: 10.1017/s0149767721000140
Ariel Nereson

This essay analyzes Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company's 2009 work Fondly Do We Hope…Fervently Do We Pray and its centering of Black women in US American history and contemporary choreographic practices. While the work's revisionist representation of national history could be understood as activist in terms of its desire to activate the spectator, this essay centers what performance might do for Black women performers and their personal practices of artistry and activism over what impulses toward social justice Black women's performances might galvanize in their audiences. Attributing FDWH's transformative potential to its aesthetic combination of postmodernism and sentimentalism and its erotic historiography, I theorize the work as a choreohistory, a mode of cultural production wherein the ordering of movement and the ordering of the past interanimate one another.