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Author Brown, Jayna, 1966-

Title Babylon girls : black women performers and the shaping of the modern / Jayna Brown
Published Durham : Duke University Press, 2008
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xi, 339 pages)
Series Duke backfile
Contents Introduct ion -- 1. "Little Black Me" : The Touring Picaninny Choruses -- 2. Letting the Flesh Fly: Topsy, time, Torture, and Transfiguration -- 3. "Egyptian Beauties" and "Creole Queens" : The Performance of City and Empire on the Fin-de-Siécle Black Burlesque Stage -- 4. The cakewalk business -- 5. Everybody's Doing It : Social Dance, Segregation, and the New Body -- 6. Babylon Girls : Primitivist Modernism, Anti-modernism, and Black Chorus Line Dancers -- 7. Translocations : Florence Mills, Josephine Baker, and Valaida Snow -- Conclusion
Summary "Babylon Girls is a groundbreaking cultural history of the African American women who performed in variety shows - chorus lines, burlesque revues, cabaret acts, and the like - between 1890 and 1945. Through a consideration of the gestures, costuming, vocal techniques, and stagecraft developed by African American singers and dancers, Jayna Brown explains how these women shaped the movement and style of an emerging urban popular culture. In an era of U.S. and British imperialism, these women challenged and played with constructions of race, gender, and the body as they moved across stages and geographic space. They pioneered dance movements including the cakewalk, the shimmy, and the Charleston - black dances by which the "New Woman" defined herself. These early-twentieth-century performers brought these dances with them as they toured across the United States and around the world, becoming cosmopolitan subjects more widely traveled than many of their audiences"--Book cover
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes English
Theatre Library Association George Freedley Memorial Award, 2009
Print version record
Subject African American women entertainers -- Biography
African American women entertainers.
Afro-Américain (peuple) -- artiste (femme) -- musique de variétés -- Etats-Unis -- 1890 -- 1945.
Afroamerikanische Tänzerin -- Geschichte 20. Jh.
Afroamerikanischer Tanz -- Geschichte 20. Jh.
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY -- Entertainment & Performing Arts.
Entertainerin.
Kabarett.
Künstlerin.
PERFORMING ARTS -- Reference.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Schauspielerin.
Tänzerin.
Schwarze.
Schwarze.
USA.
USA.
Genre/Form Biographies.
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2008011050
ISBN 0822341336
0822390698
1283035707
661303570X
9780822341338
9780822390695
9781283035705
9786613035707