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Free to Dance Lesson Plans
film / video books

Modern Dance Companies
African-American Dance Ensemble
http://users.vnet.net/aade/main.html
Celebrating traditional African culture, aesthetics, and values, the African-American Dance Ensemble seeks to preserve the finest traditions of African and African-American dance and music through education and performance.

African Heritage Dancers & Drummers: Dances of West Africa Teachers Program Guide
http://www.ahdd.org/contents.html
One of the first black performing arts companies in the Washington D.C. area, African Heritage Dancers & Drummers offers dance, music, and crafts workshops for children and youth as a multicultural educational tool.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
http://www.alvinailey.org/
Although still under construction, this site provides a tour schedule for AAADT and Ailey II, and information about the Ailey School and the Ailey camp.

Trisha Brown Dance Company
http://www.trishabrowncompany.org
A performance schedule and contact information for the Trisha Brown Dance Company is available here.

Blondell Cummings' Cycle Arts Foundation
http://www.harvestworks.org/creativec/
Founded by Blondell Cummings in 1978, a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural company that focuses on contemporary issues -- social, political, personal -- helping to bring the artist and audience to the poetics of the human condition.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company
http://www.merce.org
Learn about choreographer Merce Cunningham and the history of his dance company at this site.

Dallas Black Dance Theater
http://www.dbdt.com/nav/nav.html
Founded in 1976 by Ann Williams, Dallas' oldest continuously operating professional dance company's mission is to extend opportunities to people of color and connect people of different cultures through performance and educational programs that reach diverse communities.

Dancer.com: Dance Links: Contemporary/Modern Dance Companies
http://www.dancer.com/dance-links/modern.htm#UA
A list of links to contemporary and modern dance companies.

Dance Theatre of Harlem
http://www.dancetheatreofharlem.com/index.asp
Information on the world-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem artists, repertoire, and school.

Dance Theater Workshop
http://www.dtw.org/
The Dance Theater Workshop develops new program initiatives that help independent artists grow professionally while increasing the public's involvement in the arts.

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
http://www.dcdc.org/
The oldest modern dance company in Ohio, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company is one of the featured performers in "Free To Dance." Biographies of company members and founder Jeraldyne Blunden can be found on this Web site.

Garth Fagan Dance
http://www.garthfagandance.org/home.htm
The Garth Fagan Dance Company's tour schedule, news, repertoire, and education programs can be found here.

Rennie Harris Pure Movement 2000
http://www.puremovement.com/
This dance company seeks to fuse the diverse and rich African and African-American dance traditions of the past with the essence and spirit of today's hip-hop.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Balcony/3252/
A fan site about the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Meredith Monk
http://www.meredithmonk.org
Learn more about the artistic achievements and current creations of Meredith Monk's company at this site.

New Dance Group Arts Center
http://www.ndg.org
News and notes from New York City's first integrated, multicultural dance school and company.

The Okra Dance Company
http://www.mhv.net/encore/ok.htm
The Okra Dance Company, run by Ron McKay and Mickey Davidson, teaches tribal dances of Africa and social dances from around the world.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
http://www.cleoparkerdance.org/cleo_2000/index.html
Denver's multicultural dance-arts institution, created with the mindset that the language of dance transcends boundaries of culture, class, and age.

Philadanco!
http://www.philadanco.org/
The Philadelphia Dance Company, or more commonly known as Philadanco, garners international accolades for its eclectic repertoire and renowned choreographers. For more on the company, browse its official Web site.

Paul Taylor Dance Company
http://www.ptdc.org/
Performing in over 400 cities in more than 60 nations, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, now in its 42nd year, celebrates the artistry of Paul Taylor, performing his works throughout the world.

Urban Bush Women
http://www.fsu.edu/~svad/dance_pages/ubwhome.html
Urban Bush Women is a collective of artists, educators, organizers, and administrators who use contemporary idioms and the folklore and traditions of African Americans "to create dance, music, and theater works that celebrate the struggle, growth, transformation, and survival of the human spirit."


Dancers/Choreographers
Alvin Ailey
http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/2248/ailey.html
An essay on the professional life of dancer/choreographer Alvin Ailey.

Dancers on the Web
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~skcurtis/dancers.html
Links to biographies, quotes, articles, interviews, and more on some of modern dance's preeminent dancers and choreographers.

Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities
http://www.eslarp.uiuc.edu/kdunham/index.htm
Read a biography of the legendary dancer and obtain information about the Katherine Dunham Dynamic Museum and Children's Workshop Institute for Intercultural Communication at this site.

It's All About Savion Glover and Tap Dance!
http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Stage/8484/
A Web site covering the "hoofer" Savion Glover, the evolution of tap in America, its early history, and tap today.

The Official Fayard Nicholas Website
http://www.nicholasbrothers.com/index.htm
One half of the greatest tap-dancing team of all time -- the Nicholas Brothers -- Fayard Nicholas' site features an extensive biography and fabulous black-and-white photos of the duo.

Pearl Primus -- Dance
http://members.nbci.com/Papa_Ogun/PRIMUS/summary.htm
A statement by Pearl Primus and a chronological list of her professional triumphs are included on this page.

Kathleen Academy of Dance: Bill "Bojangles" Robinson
http://www.kathleenacademy.com/funzone/bojangls.html
A Web page chronicling the life of dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

California State University, Long Beach: Department of Dance: Rod Rodgers
http://www.csulb.edu/~dance/rodgers.html
This page contains a brief biography of Rod Rodgers.


Dance History
Absolute BreakDancing
http://www.scarybubs.com/bboy/break2.html
A fun Web site on the history of break dancing, showcasing its dance moves, styles, and music.

African-American Contributions to Theatrical Dance
http://www.theatredance.com/mhist01.html
A comprehensive dance history site covering topics such as plantation dances, American vernacular dances, and minstrelsy.

Archives of Early Lindy Hop
http://www.savoystyle.com/
Learn more about the "Lindy Hop," and watch QuickTime video clips of noted "Lindy Hop" dancers.

Foundation Course in African Dance Drumming
http://www.cnmat.berkeley.edu/~ladzekpo/Foundation.html
This site offers information about African music, performance, and culture.

Knowledge: Hip Hop History
http://www.spartanic.ch/hhh.html
Read up on hip-hop culture, its slang and dance at this site.

StreetSwing.com: Dance History Archives
http://www.streetswing.com/histmain.htm
Descriptive histories on the proliferation of dances like the "Cakewalk," the "Black Bottom," and the "Charleston" as well as information on dancers Master Juba and Zip Coon.


African-American History
About.com Alternative Religions: Vodun
http://www.religioustolerance.org/voodoo.htm
A Web page on the history, beliefs, and rituals of Vodoun (Voodoo) and other ancient religions practiced in Africa and the West.

AFRO-American Almanac
http://www.toptags.com/aama/index.htm
The AFRO-American Almanac is an online resource encompassing the historical perspectives of African Americans and the cultural evolution of Africans in America.

Eras in Black History
http://blackhistory.eb.com/
Encyclopedia Britannica's comprehensive site covers a wide range of topics in black history including dance, with links to biographies of Alvin Ailey, Katherine Dunham, and Pearl Primus.

Harlem 1900-1940: An African American Community
http://www.si.umich.edu/CHICO/Harlem/index.html
A historical retrospective on Harlem, chronicling life in this African-American community during the first half of the 20th century.

Jim Crow Laws
http://www.nps.gov/malu/documents/jim_crow_laws.htm
See a list of Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation in the United States.

Library of Congress: African American Odyssey
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/
The Library of Congress' Web site contains a vast assortment of resources on the history, lifestyles, and journey of Africans in America.

The Minstrel Show
http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/jackson/minstrel/minstrel.html
Read more about the character, scope, and origins of the minstrel show.

PBS: Africans in America
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/home.html
PBS' companion Web site for the series AFRICANS IN AMERICA.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
http://gopher.nypl.org/research/sc/sc.html
The Web site of the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Schomburg collects, preserves, and provides access to resources documenting the experiences of peoples of African descent throughout the world.


Miscellaneous
Africana.com: The Digital Bridge
http://africana.com
News, analysis, reviews, and personal essays from people of African descent.

American Dance Festival
http://www.americandancefestival.org/
Originally named The Bennington School of Dance, today's American Dance Festival includes performances, workshops, archives, and classes ranging from body therapies to repertory, composition, and all major dance techniques. The ADF's Black Tradition in American Modern Dance project was formed to create access to classic dance works by African-American choreographers.

BAMBOOZLED: The Minstrel Show
http://www.bamboozledmovie.com/minstrelshow/index.html
A brief history of blackface and minstrel shows, with clips from Spike Lee's movie BAMBOOZLED, as well as original animated cartoons.

Dance Films Association, Inc.
http://www.dancefilmsassn.org
This association promotes "excellence in dance films and video and public awareness through festivals, screenings, publications, grants, and workshops."

Dance Magazine
http://dancemagazine.com/
A complete online dance magazine site.

Dance Online
http://www.danceonline.com/
Features, news, and reviews on dance.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
http://kennedy-center.org/
One of the preeminent performing arts centers in the United States, The Kennedy Center produces and presents a variety of theater and musicals; dance and ballet; orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music; and multimedia performances for all ages.

Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies
http://www.limsonline.org
A Web site with information on the teaching and the study of movement in all its forms.