In Caribbean and Atlantic Diaspora Dance: Igniting Citizenship, Yvonne Daniel provides a sweeping cultural and historical examination of diaspora dance genres. In discussing relationships among African, Caribbean, and other diasporic dances, Daniel investigates social dances brought to the islands by Europeans and Africans, including quadrilles and drum-dances as well as popular dances that followed, such as Carnival parading, Pan-Caribbean danzas,rumba, merengue, mambo, reggae, and zouk. Daniel reviews sacred dance and closely documents combat dances, such as Martinican ladja, Trinidadian kalinda, and Cuban juego de maní. In drawing on scores of performers and consultants from the region as well as on her own professional dance experience and acumen, Daniel adeptly places Caribbean dance in the context of cultural and economic globalization, connecting local practices to transnational and global processes and emphasizing the important role of dance in critical regional tourism.
Concentrating on the Caribbean Basin and the coastal area of northeast South America, Yvonne Daniel considers three African-derived religious systems that rely heavily on dance behavior–-Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, and Bahamian Candomblé.
Combining her background in dance and anthropology to parallel the participant/scholar dichotomy inherent to dancing's "embodied knowledge," Daniel examines these misunderstood and oppressed performative dances in terms of physiology, psychology, philosophy, mathematics, ethics, and aesthetics.
"Dancing Wisdom offers the rare opportunity to see into the world of mystical spiritual belief as articulated and manifested in ritual by dance. Whether it is a Cuban Yoruba dance ritual, slave Ring Shout or contemporary Pentecostal Holy Ghost possession dancing shout, we are able to understand the relationship with spirit through dancing with the Divine. Yvonne Daniel's work synthesizes the cognitive empirical objectivity of an anthropologist with the passionate storytelling of a poetic artist in articulating how dance becomes prayer in ritual for Africans of the Diaspora."
--Leon T. Burrows, Protestant Chaplain, Smith College’
The popularity and profile of African dance have exploded across the African diaspora in the last fifty years. Hot Feet and Social Change presents traditionalists, neo-traditionalists, and contemporary artists, teachers, and scholars telling some of the thousands of stories lived and learned by people in the field. Concentrating on eight major cities in the United States, the essays explode myths about African dance while demonstrating its power to awaken identity, self-worth, and community respect. These voices of experience share personal accounts of living African traditions, their first encounters with and ultimate embrace of dance, and what teaching African-based dance have meant to them and their communities. Throughout, the editors alert readers to established and ongoing research, and provide links to critical contributions by African and Caribbean dance experts.Contributors: Ausettua Amor Amenkum, Abby Carlozzo, Steven Cornelius, Yvonne Daniel, Charles “Chuck” Davis, Esailama G. A. Diouf, Indira Etwaroo, Habib Iddrisu, Julie B. Johnson, C. Kemal Nance, Halifu Osumare, Amaniyea Payne, William Serrano-Franklin, and Kariamu Welsh