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African Dance Interview Project Year Two Videos Now Available

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The Jerome Robbins Dance Division is pleased to belatedly announce that the final seven interviews documented with the Mertz Gilmore Foundation grant to record African dancers and choreographers working and teaching in New York are now online.

Project Director Carolyn Webb oversaw the production of these interviews. All seven interviews were recorded in New York City with Mamadou Niang serving as the videographer for the project. Here is a short excerpt reel of all five interviews:

The full interviews are available through either the research catalog or Digital Collections. Click on the call numbers below for the individual interviews.

  • *MGZIDF 4119 Interview with Djoniba Mouflet, conducted by Kewulay Kamara on April 24, 2015

  • *MGZIDF 4120 Interview with Nadia Dieudonne, conducted by Carolyn Webb on May 16, 2015

  • *MGZIDF 4121 Interview with Danys “La Mora” Perez, conducted by C. Daniel Dawson on June 27, 2015

  • *MGZIDF 6171 Interview with Vado Diamonde , conducted by Maguette Camara on August 9, 2015

  • *MGZIDF 6172 Interview with Edward (Ajaibo) Walrond, conducted by Carolyn Webb on August 9, 2015

  • *MGZIDF 6199 Interview with Sidiki Conde, conducted by by Deborah Ross on September 5, 2015

  • *MGZIDF 6202 Interview with Yvette Martinez, conducted by Carolyn Webb on September 12, 2015

Another exciting outcome of African Dance Interview project was a public program co-produced by the Dance Division and Dance/NYC. An Evening with Traditional African Dance Artists in NYC: Conversation, Demonstration and Celebration was held at the Library’s Bruno Walter Auditorium on September 17, 2015. The link above takes you to the streaming video of the event.

The program featured the luminary African Dance teachers/artists who had been interviewed as part of African Dance Interview Project of 2014. The esteemed artists interviewed in this important series were Maguette Camara, Marie Basse-Wiles, Mouminatou Camara, Youssouf Koumbassa, and Ndeye Gueye. Lamine Thiam—who had been interviewed before this initiative began through the Dance Division’s ongoing Oral History Project—also participated in the program. This event—conceived by Jan Schmidt with Carolyn Webb serving as Project Director—was developed to increase community knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of traditional African Dance in NYC. C. Daniel Dawson, a renowned scholar and lecturer on the African diaspora, moderated the evening.

An Evening with Traditional African Dance Artists
Lamine Thiam, Marie Basse-Wiles, C. Daniel Dawson, Maguette Camara,
Mamadou Guisse, and Youssouf Koumbassa. Photo: Ashley Garrett

 

The Jerome Robbins Archive of  Recorded Audio and Moving Image started in 1965 with a gift from Jerome Robbins of five films and has now grown to nearly 25,000 titles, which now includes these twelve interviews and the public program. We are so proud to add to the body of work available for the world's scholars to study.

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