Dancing Black Beauty: Ritual and Performance in African Sacred Arts

Elyan Jeanine Hill, assistant professor of art history, Southern Methodist University, Dallas

Bringing dance studies into conversation with African and African Diaspora art history, this talk frames the “body as altar,” a living archive of sacred objects and adornments. Festooned with meaning-clad layers of beads and bracelets, masks and ensembles, dancers march across home courtyards and festival grounds to connect themselves to histories of trade and forced migration. This talk considers transcultural meanings of beauty by examining how African communities use art in motion to map histories of cultural exchange.

These free lectures, part of a continuing series, address a range of topics relating to the appreciation and interpretation of art.


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