Past Event

Swingin’ in Time: Dancers’ and Musicians’ Perpetual Negotiation of Time and Space

Using the jazz music and dance of “the swing era” as our point of focus, we will reach both backward and forward in time to explore the constant presence of musicians’ and dancers’ dynamic negotiation of time and space: an intergenerational conversation in rhythm. Here, we explore the interpersonal relationships that have shaped practices of rigorous, virtuosic embodied listening that unite Black cultural expressions from pre-lindy hop social dance through to house dance. This event is curated and hosted by LaTasha Barnes and Christi Jay Wells.

LaTasha Barnes is an internationally awarded dancer and Tradition-bearer of Black Social Dance forms. Her expansive skills have made her a frequent collaborator to dance organizations throughout the world. Barnes also serves as Chair of Board of Trustees for Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival, Board Member for Black Lindy Hoppers Fund, Frankie Manning Foundation, Co-Director of HellaBlackLindyHop and contributing member to NEFER Global Movement Collective. Her crafted Master’s in Ethnochoreology, Black Studies and Performance Studies thru New York University Gallatin School (2019), aims to bridge the gap between communities of practice and academic cultural dance research. Barnes’ forever purpose is to inspire fellow artists and arts enthusiasts to the mantle of artivism in their creative expressions and daily lives.

Christi Jay Wells is assistant professor of musicology at Arizona State University’s School of Music, Dance and Theatre and affiliate faculty with ASU’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. Their research on the music of Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald has received the Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award and Irving Lowens Article Award from the Society for American Music.  They have also been an active practitioner of social jazz and blues dancing for nearly two decades, and their forthcoming book Between Beats: The Jazz Tradition and Black Vernacular Dance (Oxford University Press) explores jazz music’s ever shifting relationship with social and popular dance.

Series: Jazz &… Dance
Social dances in the Black communities of America in the early 1900s was evolving quickly in response to the dynamic changes taking place in the music. This series will explore the relationship between black music and dance throughout the past 100+ years.