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Grant number like: FT-265484-19

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Naomi Macalalad Bragin
University of Washington, Bothell (Bothell, WA 98011-8246)
An Ethnographic Cultural History of Streetdance since 1970

A book-length historical and ethnographic study of hip hop dance in California, from the 1970s to the present.

Black Power of Hip Hop Dance is an ethnographic cultural history of Streetdance in 1970s California—an archive of African American dance under-researched in dance studies. I show New York hip hop culture’s aesthetic foundations in West Coast dances of Popping, Locking, Robot and Waacking. At first prohibited in dance studios, Streetdance is now a global culture spanning international classes, competitions, viral videos, reality TV and popular film. I bridge dance analysis, cultural theory, American and black studies, to assert that Streetdancers create nuanced forms of political engagement by moving their bodies in public spaces. I center the role of motion in the production and transmission of culture and formation of community. Streetdance contributes to conversations on race, power and difference, using movement as a non-verbal, embodied way of knowing. Black Power of Hip Hop Dance emphasizes the value of community history in motion—dance studies key lens of inquiry.

Project fields:
African American Studies; Cultural Anthropology; Dance History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/15/2019 – 9/14/2019