Pearl Primus (1919-1994)

Pearl Primus (1919-1994) was born in Trinidad, she was a dancer, choreographer and anthropologist and played an important role in the presentation of African dance to American audiences. Early in her career she saw the need to promote African dance as an art form worthy of study and performance. Primus’ work was a reaction to myths of savagery and the lack of knowledge about African people. It was an effort to guide the Western world to view African dance as an important and dignified statement about another way of life. Primus’ sojourn to West Africa has proven invaluable to students of African dance. She learned more about it, its function and meaning than had any other American before her. She was able to codify the technical details of many of the African dances through the notation system she evolved and was also able to view and to salvage some still existent gems of dances before they faded into general decadence.She has been unselfish in sharing the knowledge she has gained with others.6e0df5c2f539baa7e5aff8cdb520e581

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