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African/Caribbean Based Social and Vernacular Dance Forms

Adapted from Tulane University DANC 3240-01

This course explores through lecture, interactive class discussions, movement sessions, and videos, the structure and cultural significance of various styles of US and Caribbean social, popular, and vernacular dance forms influenced by West African and European dance traditions.

Course PDF

Beverly Trask

Associate Professor and Artistic Director, New Orleans Jazz Dance Festival

Associate Professor Trask has choreographed and acted in numerous theatre and dance productions on campus and in the New Orleans Community for the last 25 years. She last appeared at Southern Repertory Theatre as Mrs. Wire in Tenneessee William’s Vieux Carre. In 1997, she began the New Orleans Jazz Dance Festival, a summer dance festival to promote research, professional training and cultural enrichment of the historical role of American vernacular dance as a unique American phenomenon.

Course Chapters

  • About This Chapter

    One of the most magnificent spectacles of all Mardi Gras celebrations is the elaborate tradition of the black neighborhood “tribes” who…

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    The tradition of brass band street parades goes back well over a century to the first jazz funerals, held by jazz…

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    Held during Lent and culminating during Holy Week, Haitian Rara is a series of multifaceted celebratory events that feature mobile musical…

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    Records show that as early as 1805, The Place Congo or Congo Square (now known as Louis Armstrong Park) was a…

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    Vodou is a syncretic religion that combines African beliefs veiled in Roman Catholicism. These African beliefs are predominantly from the religion…

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    The dominant religious music in Cuba is a belief known as lucumi, frequently referred to as a syncretic religion blending African…

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    Migrations resulting from the Haitian Revolution altered the cultural landscape of the Caribbean (this includes New Orleans). By the end of…

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    In the history of the danzon, we find court dances and music of the aristocracy imitated in bourgeois salons, and musicians…

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    The rumba is a strictly secular dance and music that originated in the regions of Matanzas and Havana among blacks and…

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    When the Afro-Cuban habanera, a combination of words and rhythm, arrived in Buenos Aires after 1850, it triggered a sequence that…

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    Starting in the late 1940s throughout the 1950s, the mambo, a descendent/pretender of son, a type of syncopated montuno was a…

  • About This Chapter

    Cajun and zydeco music and dance share common musical traditions. However, they vary in instrumentation, and definitely in the “look” of…