African and Caribbean Dance

Last week, I attended a wonderful event on campus at the University of Birmingham called ‘Dancing Maps’. The event formed part of a project led by my colleague Dr Pat Noxolo, which she explains at her own blog: http://dancingmap.wordpress.com/author/pepnoxolo/

I really enjoyed the talks on the historical and cultural aspects of African and Caribbean dance. An added bonus were the dance performances by local Birmingham ACE Dance and Music Youth Company, which were absolutely stunning.

Afterwards, I chatted to the young dancers and the ACE company leaders about Caribbean dance, and explained that one of the reasons I became interested in Zobel was because I was fascinated by how he writes about music and dance in his work. How can we capture dance and rhythm on the printed page? The challenge cannot be underestimated, and Zobel is one of the most skillful authors I’ve encountered when it comes to writing about French Caribbean music. Hopefully our conversations about different dance traditions in the Caribbean will be continued… watch this space!

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