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The absurdity of staging dances in Gabon in 1966

Author:
Dagan, Esther A. 1931-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Gabon
Date:
1997
Topic:
Dance festivals  Search this
Dancers  Search this
Dance--Production and direction  Search this
Call number:
GV1713.S84 S65 1997X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_671630

Playbill for Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies

Published by:
Playbill, American, founded 1884  Search this
Used by:
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, American, founded 1910  Search this
Subject of:
Duke Ellington, American, 1899 - 1974  Search this
Gregory Hines, American, 1946 - 2003  Search this
Judith Ann Jamison, American, born 1943  Search this
Phyllis Hyman, American, 1949 - 1995  Search this
P. J. Benjamin, American, born 1951  Search this
Hinton Battle, German-American, born 1956  Search this
Gregg Burge, American, 1957 - 1998  Search this
Mercedes Ellington, American, born 1939  Search this
Priscilla Baskerville  Search this
Terri Klausner  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W: 9 x 5 5/8 in. (22.9 x 14.3 cm)
Type:
theater programs
Place used:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1981
Topic:
African American  Search this
Actors  Search this
Broadway Theatre  Search this
Jazz (Music)  Search this
Musical Theatre  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Kayla Deigh Owens
Object number:
2011.45.91
Restrictions & Rights:
Playbill used by permission. All rights reserved, Playbill Inc.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Memorabilia and Ephemera
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2011.45.91
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Additional Online Media:

Jack Mitchell Photography of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Collection

Choreographer:
Ailey, Alvin  Search this
Photographer:
Mitchell, Jack, 1925-  Search this
Dancer:
Allen, Sarita  Search this
Chaya, Masazumi  Search this
DeLavallade, Carmen , 1931-  Search this
DeLoatch, Gary, 1953-1993  Search this
Jamison, Judith  Search this
Roxas, Elizabeth  Search this
Truitte, James  Search this
Tyson, Andre  Search this
Williams, Dudley  Search this
Wood, Donna, 1954-  Search this
Extent:
16 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Modern dance
Dance photography.
Date:
1961-2004
Summary:
Jack Mitchell (1925- 2013) was an acclaimed photographer who began chronicling the work of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1961. Alvin Ailey (1931- 1989), one of the most influential African American choreographers of modern dance, dedicated himself and his dance company to creating ballets that not only accelerated the careers of young African American dancers, but also stole the attention of national and international audiences in displaying the racial perspective of dance in the African American experience. This collection serves as Mitchell's documentation of the dance company's evolution while capturing the true idiosyncrasies and physicality of movement through still images. Through Alvin Ailey and Jack Mitchell's partnership, they were able to collaborate and produce a unique production of art, fusing the meaning and movements of dance and the techniques of photography.
Scope and Contents:
The Jack Mitchell Photography of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Collection is comprised of approximately 10,000 black and white prints of solo and ensemble acts, portraits of principle dancers and various associates of the company, color slides and transparencies for private photo sessions and performances, black and white film strips and their corresponding contact sheets, and reference materials.
Arrangement:
The material in this collection has been kept primarily at the folder level in the order that was declared by the initial owner and photographer, Jack Mitchell. Oversize prints were separated and housed in an associated series in the collection. The order of the material has been organized based on the medium of the material. Each subseries has been organized based on the following:

Series I: Black and White Prints Subseries A: Solo and Ensemble Images and Portraits were organized alphabetically by ballet name. Subseries B: Prints for Jack Mitchell Publication were organized by page number in the publication.

Series II: Color Photography Subseries A: Original Slide Boxes were organized numerically based on Jack Mitchell's label assignments. Subseries B: Color Slides were organized numerically based on subseries A's label assignments. Subseries C: Color Transparencies were organized numerically based on subseries A's label assignments.

Series III: Black and White Negatives Subseries A: Black and White Film Strips were organized chronologically by date. Subseries B: Contact Sheets were organized chronologically by date.

Series IV: Reference Material

OVERSIZE Series I: Black and White Prints were organized chronologically by date.
Biographical / Historical:
Jack Mitchell was born on September 13, 1925 in Key West, Florida. Although he was not in the field of photography, Mitchell's father bought him his first camera when Jack was a teenager. His first published photograph was of actress, Veronica Lake, for a War Bond Tour, a tour issued by the government that promoted debt securities to soldiers to finance military operations and expenditures He enlisted in the United States army and became a photographer in Italy at the end of World War II. In 1949, Ted Shawn, a dancer and choreographer who is respected among the dance community as a pioneer of American modern dance, invited Mitchell to Massachusetts photograph his dancers at his dance center, Jacobs's Pillow. It was during this time where Mitchell's interest and appreciation for moving bodies was realized. In the lifespan of his career, Mitchell created over 150 covers for Dance Magazine1, the New York Times, Time, Life, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and Vogue.2

As Jack Mitchell started to photograph the poses and ballets of the American Ballet Theater throughout the late 1950s, Alvin Ailey saw some of Mitchell's photographs. By 1961, Mitchell had established himself as a distinguished photographer of dance, coining the term, "moving stills". His photographs became the benchmark and standard that other dance photographers measured their work. In November 1961, Ailey invited Mitchell to a performance space in Clark Center, NY, and with his dancers, they performed for Mitchell's camera; some of the photographs from that first photo session can be found in this collection.

Alvin Ailey was born on January 5, 1931 in in Rodgers, Texas, during the Great Depression. As his repertory reflected, the beginning of his life was defined by a tight-knit, predominantly African American folk culture. At age 12, Ailey and his mother, Lula Cooper, moved Los Angeles, California. It is here that he was exposed to the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, which led him to study under the Lester Horton Dance Theater, where he danced with Carmen DeLavallade, James Truitte, and Joyce Trisler. After 3 years of performing and training, he was positioned as a choreographer and later became the director of the company when Lester Horton suddenly died in 1953. His influence from Lester Horton, Martha Graham, and Katherine Dunham help to establish his philosophy that "Everything in dancing is style, allusion, the essence of many thoughts and feelings, the abstraction of many moments. Each movement is the sum total of moments and experiences".3 After Horton's death, Ailey went to perform at Ted Shawn's Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and then on to New York with his longtime schoolmate and fellow dancer, Carmen DeLavallade, to perform in the 1954 Broadway production of "House of Flowers". The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company was established in 1958.

From the beginning of his journey as a dancer and choreographer, Ailey wanted to show African American experience in his performances. He embedded folk culture in his early works "Revelations" and "Blue Suites". In reflection, before his first South Asian Tour, Alvin expressed, "The cultural heritage of the American Negro is one of America's richest treasures. From his roots as a slave, the American Negro- sometimes sorrowing, sometimes jubilant but always hopeful -has touched, illuminated, and influenced the most preserved of world civilization. I and my dance theater celebrate this trembling beauty."4 "Revelations" was well- received by national and international audiences, Ailey recognized by the dance community as a choreographer with promise and his company and ballets he created were highly anticipated. By 1965, Ailey went from being a dancer to being the company's choreographer. From the onset, Ailey embraced diversity and invited interracial and interdisciplinary perspectives at of the company. He also created ballets for other notable companies including the American Ballet Theatre, Royal Danish Ballet, London Festival Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, and LaScala Opera Ballet.5 He was invited to choreograph Samuel Barber's Anthony and Cleopatra for the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in 19666, and Leonard Bernstein's Mass for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1971.7

As the company embraced racial diversity, Ailey never lost his sense of obligation to the African American community. In 1969, he established the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, which became the Ailey School, formed the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, and pioneered programs promoting arts in education, particularly those that benefitted deprived communities. Among his numerous distinctions were the Dance Magazine Award (1975), the NAACP Spingarn Medal (1976), given for "the highest and noblest achievement by an American Negro during the previous year or years"8 , the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (1987), the most prestigious award for modern dance for a lifetime contribution to the field, the Kennedy Center Award (1988) and Honorary Doctorates from Princeton University (1972)9 , Bard College (1977)10 , and Adelphi University (1977). President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Ailey the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014, the country's highest civilian honor, in recognition of his contributions and commitments to civil rights and dance in America.11

Through Jack Mitchell and Alvin Ailey's work, they were able to collaborate and create something "rich in historical connotations, the liveliest kind of permanent record of the works of important creators and creations that formed the nucleus of Ailey's remarkable vision of American dance and what it could be"12. Alvin Ailey's reputation for creating eclectic dance methods produced movements and poses that are still studied and idolized today. Mitchell was able to pay homage to many of the world's best dance artists from James Truitte, Carmen DeLavallade, Dudley Williams, Donna Wood, Renee Robinson, Gary DeLoatch, as well as Ailey, through his photography. With Ailey's longstanding and established stature within the dance community, and Mitchell's pronouncement of the detailed through his use of lighting in his photographs, this collection highlights the incredible collaboration between Ailey and Mitchell, and serves as a unique document of one of the world's most renowned American dance company's.

Alvin Ailey's vision for a dance company was dedicated to enriching the American modern dance heritage and preserving African American culture. In a 1989 interview with Dance Magazine, shortly before his death, Ailey discussed how he took pride in knowing that "No other company around [today] does what we do, requires the same range, and challenges both the dancers and the audience to the same degree." Ailey searched for a collaborator that would help him display the value of communicative movement; he found his match in Mitchell. Ailey's influence went beyond the stage and Jack Mitchell's images in this collection document that evolution. With Alvin Ailey's passing in 1989 at age 58 and Jack Mitchell's death in 2013 at age 88, these photographs of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Collection serves as one of the few sources of this dynamic dance company, from its early days to an internationally recognized troupe.

Footnotes

2. Jack Mitchell. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Jack Mitchell Photographs. (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1993), viii

3. Bruce Weber, "Jack Mitchell, Photographer of the Arts, Dies at 88", The New York Times Obituaries (November 9, 2013): -- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/arts/jack-mitchell-photographer-of-the-arts-dies-at-88.html

4. Jennifer Dunning, Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance. (New York; Addison- Wesley, 1996), 123

5. Ibid, 146.

6. Alvin Ailey, Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey. (New York: Birch Lane, 1995), 6-7.

7. Alvin Ailey, Revelations: The Autobiography of Alvin Ailey. (New York; Birch Lane, 1995), 7.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.

10. Dunning, Jennifer. -- Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance -- . (New York: Addison-Wesley, 1996), 286.

11. "Bard College Catalogue 2016-17: Honorary Degrees": -- https://www.bard.edu/catalogue/index.php?aid=1205177%26sid=670501

12. Office of the Press Secretary, "President Obama Names Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom" (November 10, 2014): -- https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/10/president-obama-names-recipients-presidential-medal-freedom

13. Jack Mitchell. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Jack Mitchell Photographs. (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1993), ix.
General:
COLLECTION LIST OF FEATURED REPERTORY

After Eden, Archipelago, Been Here and Gone, Black Belt, Blues Suite, Butterfly, Caravan, Carmina Burana, Caverna Magica, Chelsea's Bells, Come and Get the Beauty of It Hot, Concert in F, Congo Tango Palace, Crossword, Cry, Dance at the Gym, District Storyville, Divining, Episodes, Escargot, Facets, Fever Swamp, Flowers, Folkdance, Fontessa and Friends, For Bird – with Love, Forgotten Time, Frames, Gazelle, Hermit Songs, Hidden Rites, Hobo Sapiens, How to Walk an Elephant, Hymn, Icarus, Journey, Jukebox for Alvin, Lament, Landscape, Mary Lou's Mass, Masekela Langage, Memoria, N. Y. Export, Op. Jazz, Night Creature, North Star, Opus McShann, Pas de Duke, Passage, Pigs 'n Fishes, Portrait of Billie, Prodigal Prince, Quintet, Rainbow 'round my Shoulder, Revelations, Rift, Roots of the Blues, Sarong Paramaribo , Satyriade, Seven Journeys, Shards, Shelter, Spectrum, Speeds, Speeds, Streams, Suite Otis, The Beloved, The Lark Ascending, The Letter, The Mooche, The River, The Road of the Phoebe Snow, The Stack-Up, The Winter in Lisbon, Three Black Kings, Tilt, Toccata, Treading, Variegations, Vespers
Separated Materials:
There were 3 inscribed copies of "Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Jack Mitchell Photographs" originally stored in the collection. One copy of this text can be found in Series IV: Reference Materials with the publication draft, another copy is housed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture Library, and the last copy has been designated to serve as an archival reference text.
Provenance:
Acquired from the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. in 2013.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Access to collection materials requires an appointment.
Rights:
Jack Mitchell Photography of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Collection is jointly owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation. Permission for commercial use or publication of the digital images may be requested from the Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Dancers -- Photographs  Search this
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater  Search this
Choreography -- United States  Search this
Dance  Search this
Dance schools -- United States  Search this
Dance -- Production and direction  Search this
Dance companies  Search this
Dance -- North America  Search this
Genre/Form:
Modern dance -- United States -- 20th century
Dance photography.
Citation:
Photography by Jack Mitchell © Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Inc. and Smithsonian Institution, All rights reserved.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.A2013.245
See more items in:
Jack Mitchell Photography of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Collection
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmaahc-a2013-245
Additional Online Media:

Teenarama: Workshop on Documentary Filmmaking

Creator:
Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture  Search this
Names:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Collection Creator:
Kendall Productions  Search this
Extent:
1 sound recording (microcassette)
Culture:
African American  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Sound recordings
Place:
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Date:
1998
Scope and Contents:
Conversation about producing a documentary film. Specifically, the importance of both sound and image; necessary equipment; technical aspects and elements of production; interviewing techniques; cinematography and sound tips; planning and outlining the film; and funding, marketing and focus groups are discussed.
Discussion. Audio only. Very poor audio quality. Part of the Teenarama Collection. Dated 19981012.
Biographical / Historical:
The documentary 'Dance Party: The Teenarama Story' examined the popularity of 1950s and 1960s teen dance television shows, including 'The Teenarama Dance Party,' 'American Bandstand,' 'The Buddy Dean Show,' and 'The Milt Grant Show.' 'The Teenarama Dance Party' was an all-black teen dance show produced and broadcasted in Washington, D.C. The show aired from March 7, 1963 to November 20, 1970 on WOOK-TV Channel 14, which was the nation's first Black TV station. The show was produced live six days a week; and hosted first by Bob King and later by a rotation of hosts. In addition to being a dance show, 'The Teenarama Dance Party' was a training ground for teens. Production staff mentored the teenagers in the art of broadcast production. The teens trained as camera operators, floor directors, and technical engineers; and served as production assistants.
Local Numbers:
ACMA AV005288_B
Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
African Americans  Search this
Motion picture authorship  Search this
Motion pictures -- Production and direction  Search this
Motion pictures -- Distribution  Search this
Documentary videos  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Citation:
Teenarama: Workshop on Documentary Filmmaking, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-055, Item ACMA AV005288_A
See more items in:
Kendall Productions Records
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-06-055-ref726

There there / Tommy Orange

Author:
Orange, Tommy 1982-  Search this
Physical description:
294 pages ; 23 cm
Type:
Fiction
Political fiction
Place:
California
Oakland
Oakland (Calif.)
Date:
2018
Topic:
Indians of North America--Ethnic identity  Search this
Indians of North America  Search this
Interpersonal relations  Search this
Powwows  Search this
Group identity  Search this
Collective memory  Search this
Documentary films--Production and direction  Search this
Identity (Philosophical concept)  Search this
Recovering alcoholics  Search this
Dysfunctional families  Search this
Mass shootings  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1106445

Noguchi, Graham : selected works for dance / essays by Bonnie Rychlak, Neil Printz, Janet Eilber

Title:
Selected works for dance
Author:
Noguchi, Isamu 1904-1988  Search this
Graham, Martha  Search this
Rychlak, Bonnie  Search this
Printz, Neil  Search this
Eilber, Janet  Search this
Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum  Search this
Isamu Noguchi Foundation  Search this
Subject:
Noguchi, Isamu 1904-1988  Search this
Graham, Martha  Search this
Physical description:
60 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
2004
C2004
Topic:
Modern dance--Exhibitions  Search this
Dance--Stage-setting and scenery--Exhibitions  Search this
Dance--Production and direction--Exhibitions  Search this
Call number:
GV1783 .N64 2004
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_765729

Dances in Togo, 1973 : a national survey chronology

Author:
Dagan, Esther A. 1931-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Togo
Date:
1997
Topic:
Dance  Search this
Dancers  Search this
Dance--Production and direction  Search this
Call number:
GV1713.S84 S65 1997X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_671626

Lighting as an expressive theatrical medium in African dance theatre

Author:
Asomba, Domba  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Africa
Date:
1990
Topic:
Stage lighting  Search this
Light, Colored  Search this
Dance--Production and direction  Search this
Performing arts--Production and direction  Search this
Call number:
DT515.A1 N68
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_500244

Making dance talk

Author:
Solanke, Adeola  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Ebo Iye  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Nigeria
Date:
1989
Topic:
Theater  Search this
Dance--Production and direction  Search this
Musical theater  Search this
Call number:
DT491 .W516
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_547209

Towards the national theatre concept : a model for the development of dance education within the Ghanaian University system / by William Ofotsu Adinku

Author:
Adinku, W. Ofotsu (William Ofotsu)  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 261 leaves : maps
Type:
Books
Place:
Ghana
Date:
1988
[1988]
Topic:
Dance--Study and teaching  Search this
Dance  Search this
Dance--Production and direction  Search this
Call number:
GV1753.5 .A23 1988
GV1753.5.A23 1988
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_373889

Gontcharova/Larionov : the Tobin Wing, 1987

Author:
Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum  Search this
Goncharova, Nataliia Sergeevna 1881-1962  Search this
Larionov, Mikhail Fedorovich 1881-1964  Search this
Subject:
Goncharova, Nataliia Sergeevna 1881-1962  Search this
Larionov, Mikhail Fedorovich 1881-1964 Exhibitions  Search this
Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum Tobin Wing Exhibitions  Search this
Physical description:
45 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 26 cm
Type:
Books
Exhibitions
Date:
1987
C1987
Topic:
Ballet--Stage-setting and scenery  Search this
Dance--Production and direction--Exhibitions  Search this
Call number:
N40.1.G61446 M3 1987
N40.1.G61446M3 1987
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_393714

Design for ballet / Mary Clarke and Clement Crisp

Author:
Clarke, Mary 1923-  Search this
Crisp, Clement  Search this
Physical description:
288 p. : ill. ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1978
C1978
Topic:
Dance--Production and direction  Search this
Ballet--Stage-setting and scenery  Search this
Ballet--Costume  Search this
Call number:
GV1782 .C56 1978X
GV1782.C56 1978X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_111721

Directing the dance legacy of Doris Humphrey : the creative impulse of reconstruction / Lesley Main

Author:
Main, Lesley  Search this
Subject:
Humphrey, Doris 1895-1958 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 190 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2012
C2012
Topic:
Modern dance--Production and direction  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1051426

Technical theatre and the performing arts in Nigeria : celebrating Olateju Wasee Kareem / edited by Duro Oni and Sunday Enessi Ododo

Title:
Celebrating Olateju Wasee Kareem
Author:
Oni, Duro  Search this
Ododo, Sunday Enessi  Search this
Kareem, Olateju Wasee 1962-  Search this
Subject:
Kareem, Olateju Wasee 1962-  Search this
Physical description:
xxxi, 336 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Nigeria
Date:
2011
©2011
Topic:
Stage management  Search this
Theater--Production and direction  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1062965

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