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BLACK CHOREOGRAPHERS MOVING: A National Dialogue <i> compiled by Halifu Osumare, edited by Julinda Lewis-Ferguson (Expansion Arts Services, P.O. Box 3406, Berkeley, CA 94703: $13.00, illustrated).</i>

The panels and papers in this anthology were presented at the first conference devoted to Black dance, held in Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1989. The most interesting debate focuses on the definition of an Afro-American aesthetic. Brenda Dixon ties the responsive patterns of dance movements to the deliberate asymmetry that characterizes the visual arts in Africa; Osumare argues that African-American dance continues an African tradition of functionalism in art. The arguments over the relationship between criticism and black dance apparently grew quite heated, although the discussions prove inconclusive. This intriguing exploration of the links between art and ethnicity has become an ongoing series: A second festival was held in 1991, and a third is slated for 1992.


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