The Dance Enthusiast Celebrates Black Choreographers:
"Dance is my medicine ... Dance is the fist with which I fight the sickening ignorance of prejudice. Instead of growing twisted like a gnarled tree inside myself, I am able to dance out my anger and frustration." Pearl Primus
by Christine Jowers, Founding Editor of The Dance Enthusiast
First, Two Quotes That Inspire Me:
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet Laureate
"To be positive is the most subversive..." Faustin Linyekula, Performance Artist/Choreographer/Founder of Studios Kabako
When I was a little girl, I was very fortunate that my father was the the Director of The Virgin Islands Council on the Arts. His job not only involved supporting the artists in our community, but also hosting and greeting visiting artists to our islands. My brother and I were very lucky to meet many dynamic artists - people who radiated positive energy and beauty.
In the late 1960's throughout the 1970's, (when Merce Cunningham and his company started touring in a VW bus and the Dance Theatre of Harlem was formed by Arthur Mitchell,) I was introducing my Barbie dolls to artists from: the American Ballet Theater, The Royal Danish Ballet, George Faison's Universal Experience Dance Company, Eleo Pomare's company, and The Dance Theatre of Harlem. These fascinating people are the reason I connected to the art of dance, went on to study dance history and criticism in college and became a professional dancer and producer of dance projects.
While I loved the dance performances I experienced, what particularly caught me, was the attitude of the dancers ; their hard work, their commitment and their vibrancy. I knew, even as a seven year old, THAT is what I wanted in my life.
It is the dance artists' manner of putting enthusiasm into action that I would like to share with my children, friends and the community at large. I believe this positive energy is crucial to our lives.
I started the The Dance Enthusiast project with the dream of connecting others to the stories of this important, ephemeral art - the stories beyond reviews and critiques - the stories of artists who continue to inspire me today just as they did when I was a child.
I would like The Dance Enthusiast to inspire and welcome conversation, a conversation between writers, dancers, and audiences. It is no fun to be talked at.
Please join me and my wonderful co-editors and contributors in this positive movement of dance communication.