Lecture #1: Body of Blues
Monday, October 26, 2020
4 pm - 6 pm
Lecture #2: The Black Sound of Women in Tap
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
4 pm - 6 pm
Lecture 3: Jazzographies
Monday, April 12, 2021
4 pm - 6 pm
viewing link: https://bit.ly/2IHgNYC
Author of: 
Brotherhood in Rhythm: the Jazz Tap Legacy of the Nicholas Brothers
Tap Dancing America: A Cultural History 
The Department's annual Colloquia in Dance and Performance Studies features Guggenheim Fellow and Distinguished Dance Scholar Constance Valis-Hill in a series of 3 Virtual Lectures with Talk-Backs entitled, "Jazz, Dancing, and Black Female Corporeality." "Jazz, Dancing, and Black Female Corporeality" muses on the question, “What is Jazz Dance?” and delves into the sources and meaning of jazz dancing and its relationship to music and structures of improvisation rooted in black vernacular musical traditions and Africanist aesthetics. Conjoining musicality and corporeality, and building on the theoretical writings of Angela Davis, Daphne Brooks, Brenda Dixon Gottschild, Jayna Brown, Farrah Jasmine Griffin, and Saidiya Hartman, I will elaborate upon how jazz developed in the spaces where black women-- blues women-- worked and played in brothels, jooks, and house parties; cabarets, nightclubs, and variety stages, where the music (played largely by male instrumentalists) was produced in conjunction with dancing bodies. We will discern how jazz dancing (architectonic formations and gestural vocabularies of the body) evolved largely from the black (woman) dancer’s body-and-soul response to jazz music, or popular syncopated music, whether blues, swing, boogie-woogie, and rhythm and blues; physicalizing the music’s components of polyrhythm, call-and-response, and improvisation.
Colloquium Poster