Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers: Pearl Primus, Third Evening

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Title
Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers: Pearl Primus, Third Evening
Additional title: Recollections and Rare Films
Names
Primus, Pearl (Speaker)
Hess, Susan (Host)
Hess, Susan (Project director)
Powell, Alan (Videographer)
Collection

Susan Hess Modern Dance Lecture Series Video Archive

Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1983-04-29
Table of Contents
Reel 1. Evening with Pearl Primus [beginning] (57 min.).
Reel 2. Evening with Pearl Primus [conclusion] (41 min.) -- Closing comments (1 min.) / by Susan Hess.
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZIDF 1466
Topics
Primus, Pearl
Lectures and lecturing -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia
Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976
Anderson, Marian, 1897-1993
New Dance Group (New York, N.Y.)
African ceremonial (Choreographic work : Primus)
Nash, Joe, 1919-2005
Modern dance -- United States
Dance -- History -- 20th century
African American dance -- History -- 20th century
African American dancers
Dance and race
Dance, Black
Dance -- Anthropological aspects
Genres
Lectures
Notes
Content: Title from original video cassette label.
Venue: Videotaped during talk at Hess studio in Philadelphia, Pa. 1983 April 29.
Acquisition: Gift; Susan Hess; 2010.
Physical Description
Videocassette
Extent: 2 videocassettes (U-matic) (99 min.) : sound, color ; 3/4 in.
Description
Reel 1 begins with Pearl Primus reading her poem, Jim Crow Train; she discusses what dance has meant to her and how it helps people to understand each other; her childhood in Trinidad; African American and African contrasts; her African dreams emerging into dances; her first performance in African Ceremonial in 1943; the importance of obtaining a Doctorate in order to gain respect and proving that dance is a language for the NYU degree; how she started as a seamstress for the New Dance Group and her first performance with them as a dancer at the World's Fair with Joe Nash as her partner; the critic John Martin declaring Primus a star in 1944; her mentors Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson teaching her and giving her advice; the persistence of Billy Holiday's comments at her performances; talking about various photographs of drums and performance shots of Primus; Jane Dudley donating a costume to her; the movement for Langston Hughes' Negro Speaks of Rivers, which she is documenting on Philadanco; being an athlete in track & field and archery at Hunter College; how Hughes talked about Primus' role in Negro Speaks of Rivers; discussion of the Conga dance and audiences laughing at the raffia masks for her work, Dance of Initiation. Reel 2 continues with talk of dance being a communication to an audience; her dance for peace, War Peace; her refusal to adhere to Billy Rose contract; photos of her husband and son; the importance of the fertility dance; teaching through her experiences and teaching authentic dance and knowing the truth; Question and Answer session with Primus talking about her dreams; explaining her dreams into dances; talking about the origin of Jazz dance as an art form; her experiences in the Belgian Congo, now Zaire; Africans rushing her after a performance while the Europeans got in cars and left; teaching at SUNY Buffalo, in communities and in New Rochelle; preacher calling her the Devil; prejudices and history of the black individuals; and conclusion by Susan Hess.
Type of Resource
Moving image
Languages
English
Identifiers
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b20284980
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 4309db20-3136-0132-1d9d-3c075448cc4b
Rights Statement
The copyright and related rights status of this item has been reviewed by The New York Public Library, but we were unable to make a conclusive determination as to the copyright status of the item. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use.

Item timeline of events

  • 1983: Created
  • 2019: Found by you!
  • 2020

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1983. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/44ad01f0-3136-0132-b1c1-3c075448cc4b

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed August 22, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/44ad01f0-3136-0132-b1c1-3c075448cc4b

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1983). Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/44ad01f0-3136-0132-b1c1-3c075448cc4b

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/44ad01f0-3136-0132-b1c1-3c075448cc4b | title= (moving image) Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers, (1983) }} |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=August 22, 2019 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lennox, and Tilden Foundation}}</ref>

Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers