Research Catalog

Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers : Pearl Primus

Title
Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers : Pearl Primus, Third Evening.
Publication
1983.

Available Online

NYPL Digital Collections

Details

Additional Authors
  • Primus, Pearl
  • Hess, Susan
  • Powell, Alan
Description
2 streaming video files (99 min.) : sound, color.
Series Statement
Susan Hess Modern Dance Lecture Series Video Archive
Uniform Title
Susan Hess Modern Dance Lecture Series Video Archive.
Alternative Title
Recollections and Rare Films
Subject
  • Primus, Pearl
  • Nash, Joe, 1919-2005
  • Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976
  • Anderson, Marian, 1897-1993
  • New Dance Group (New York, N.Y.)
  • African ceremonial (Choreographic work : Primus)
  • Drum
  • Modern dance > United States
  • Dance > History > 20th century
  • African American dance > History > 20th century
  • African American dancers
  • Dance, Black
  • Dance and race
  • Dance > Anthropological aspects
Genre/Form
  • Dance.
  • Video.
  • Filmed dance.
  • Filmed interviews.
Note
  • Title from original video cassette label.
  • Reel 1 (57 min.) ; Reel 2 (42 min.).
Access (note)
  • Patrons can access streaming video files online only onsite at the Library for the Performing Arts.
Credits (note)
  • Project director, Susan Hess ; videographer, Alan Powell.
Source (note)
  • Susan Hess;
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.
Call Number
*MGZIDF 1466
OCLC
889434521
Title
Five Evenings with American Dance Pioneers : Pearl Primus, Third Evening.
Production
1983.
Country of Producing Entity
U.S.
Type of Content
two-dimensional moving image
Type of Medium
computer
video
Type of Carrier
online resource
Series
Susan Hess Modern Dance Lecture Series Video Archive
Susan Hess Modern Dance Lecture Series Video Archive.
Original Version
Original format: 2 videocassettes (U-matic) ; 3/4 in.
Restricted Access
Patrons can access streaming video files online only onsite at the Library for the Performing Arts.
Credits
Project director, Susan Hess ; videographer, Alan Powell.
Performer
Speaker, Pearl Primus.
Event
Videotaped during talk at Hess studio in Philadelphia, Pa. 1983 April 29.
Summary
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.
Source
Gift; Susan Hess; 2010.
Connect to:
NYPL Digital Collections
Added Author
Primus, Pearl, speaker.
Hess, Susan, speaker.
Hess, Susan, director.
Powell, Alan, videographer.
Hess, Susan, donor.
Added Title
Recollections and Rare Films
Research Call Number
*MGZIDF 1466
View in Legacy Catalog