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Through working with free jazz musicians, McIntyre realized that improvised music and dance are both deeply corporeal, a discovery with tremendous political implications. Once one recognizes the embodied nature of both art forms, it becomes dif‹cult to elevate music as a masculine art of the mind over the bodily art of dance. The work of Dunn, Dixon, and McIntyre emerged out of an urgent historical moment and demanded a new kind of engagement from its audience. For this reason, the end of the chapter moves to a discussion of ethical audience reception.

No one had ever thought of Voodooism without thinking of something kinky before Katherine Dunham. No one had ever seen a trained company in folkloric material re-choreographed without any of the ethnic qualities taken away and presented on stage with trained dancers. ”19 But Dunham did more than place the fruits of her ‹eldwork on the stage. She frequented jazz clubs and dance halls throughout her time in New York City, places that profoundly in›uenced the already rich and complicated exchanges among Caribbean, Latino, and African American expressive cultures.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o makes this point in his response to Peter Brook’s famous pronouncement that any empty space could be a bare stage. According to wa Thiong’o: “Performance space is never empty. Bare, yes; open, yes; but never empty. ”1 Obviously, the dancers in Dehn’s studio scenes were dancing in a particular time and place—in a studio in the 1950s, in front of Mura Dehn, a Russian woman who had studied at the Moscow Art Theatre and the Academy of Arts in Vienna and became fascinated by jazz and black social dance upon moving to the United States.

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