Encyclopedia of Diasporas

2005 Edition
| Editors: Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember, Ian Skoggard

Dance in the African Diaspora

  • Yvonne Daniel
Arts in Diasporas
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-29904-4_34


“Dance” in the African diaspora is defined most often within its relationship to “music”; dance is music and music is dance for many African and African-derived populations. Dance/music, then, is that dimension of human performance that involves a relationship between rhythmic musical sound and purposeful, expressive movement. Dance/music has the capacity to symbolize the full range of human endeavor. It communicates to performers and observers alike, either independently or interdependently, in a nonverbal, multichanneled manner. As a form of aesthetic, social behavior within hundreds of African and African-derived societies, dancing is revered for its individual as well as group benefits.

African diaspora dance performance is centered within the articulate human body. Even though the dancing body yields essentially expressive culture from the aesthetic domain, it is often a nexus to religious, political, and even economic dimensions of social life. In one of the earliest...


Dance Performance African Diaspora Dance Form Dance Company Dance Tradition 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvonne Daniel

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