Beacon Press: Dance We Do
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Dance We Do

A Poet Explores Black Dance

Author: Ntozake Shange   Foreword by: Alexis Pauline Gumbs   Afterword by: Reneé L. Charlow

In her first posthumous work, the revered poet crafts a personal history of Black dance and captures the careers of legendary dancers along with her own rhythmic beginnings.

Many learned of Ntozake Shange’s ability to blend movement with words when her acclaimed choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf made its way to Broadway in 1976, eventually winning an Obie Award the following year. But before she found fame as a writer, poet, performer, dancer, and storyteller, she was an untrained student who found her footing in others’ classrooms. Dance We Do is a tribute to those who taught her and her passion for rhythm, movement, and dance.

After 20 years of research, writing, and devotion, Ntozake Shange tells her history of Black dance through a series of portraits of the dancers who trained her, moved with her, and inspired her to share the power of the Black body with her audience. Shange celebrates and honors the contributions of the often unrecognized pioneers who continued the path Katherine Dunham paved through the twentieth century. Dance We Do features a stunning photo insert along with personal interviews with Mickey Davidson, Halifu Osumare, Camille Brown, and Dianne McIntyre. In what is now one of her final works, Ntozake Shange welcomes the reader into the world she loved best.
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“Ntozake Shange’s Dance We Do is a gorgeous last offering from one of our most gifted and multifaceted artists. Her passion for dance, just like her passion for words, is among the many reasons she will be missed, though these insightful interviews, ruminations, and reflections will continue to be a balm, across generations, from her to us.”
—Edwidge Danticat, author of Everything Inside

“A workaholic to her last breath, Ntozake Shange has left us with a book that expands our knowledge of Black dance. Not only is it a textbook but it was composed by someone who created a new form. A true innovator.”
—Ishmael Reed, author of Malcolm and Me

“In Dance We Do, Ntozake Shange presents a language of movement that only she knew—relearned with clarity and courage, and unveiled to the world as a black American groove of words in commemorative motion.”
—Rebecca Carroll, author of Sugar in the Raw: Voices of Young Black Girls in America and host of the podcast Come Through with Rebecca Carroll


Dance We Do

ISBN: 978-080709187-6
Publication Date: 10/13/2020
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $19.95
Format: Cloth
Not Yet Published
Will Ship On: October 2020
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