Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
Collection Photographer:
Elisofon, Eliot  Search this
1 Slide (col.)
Vai (African people)  Search this
Archival materials
Color slides
Scope and Contents:
The photograph depicts young female dancers from the Liberian National Dance Troupe of William Lewis. Mr. Lewis was at the time director of Folklore and Culture Affairs in the Liberian government. "African ballet, as a scenic art for modern audiences, is a montage of traditional sequences making a comprehensive story with an exposition, a plot, and , as with all morality tales, a conclusion. The next prerequisite is to be acquainted with a large number of traditional dance movements. Thirdly, ethnic trends are quickly learned. If you want grace in motion, delicacy of touch, select the Kru or Glebo; for powerful stomping call the Vai; quickest tempo may be provided by Gola, Gio, ...." [Dorsinville R., 1970: The Making of Liberian Ballet. African Arts. Regents of the University of California. Published by UCLA James S. Coleman African Studies Center]. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Life magazine and traveled to Africa from August 18, 1959 to December 20, 1959.
Local Numbers:
F 2 VAI 15 EE 59
Title is provided by EEPA staff based on photographer's notes.
Local Note:
57938 1 66
Frame value is 11.
Slide No. F 2 VAI 15 EE 59
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Collection Rights:
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Clothing and dress -- Africa  Search this
Dance  Search this
Color slides
Collection Citation:
Eliot Elisofon Field Collection, EEPA 1973-001, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution
EEPA.1973-001, Item EEPA EECL 5091
See more items in:
Eliot Elisofon Field collection
Archival Repository:
Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art