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Dance We Do: A Poet Explores Black Dance

Dance We Do: A Poet Explores Black Dance

by Ntozake Shange


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on October 13, 2020


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 20th 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807091876
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 10/13/2020
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Ntozake Shange (1948-2018) was a renowned poet, novelist, playwright, and performer, best known for her Broadway-produced and Obie Award-winning choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. She wrote numerous works of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, including If I Can Cook/You Know God Can, Wild Beauty, and Sassafras.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is the author of M Archive: After the End of the World and Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity and the co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. She is the founder of Brilliance Remastered, an organization that supports under-represented scholars, artists, and organizers. Alexis has received numerous awards and recognitions such as the Advocate Magazine's 40 under 40 and Colorlines 10 LGBTQ Leaders Transforming the South. Connect with her at

Reneé L. Charlow is a director, performer, and writer. She is a professor of Theatre at Shepherd University and a professor of Literature at Southern New Hampshire University. She served as an associate producer and assistant director for the production of Shange's Lost in Language and Sound at the Karamu House in Cleveland, OH.