National Black Arts Festival presents RIZE September 10, 2015

As part of its Film Program, NBAF offers a curated film series in partnership with Stephane Dunn, Associate Professor and Director of Morehouse College’s Cinema, Television & Emerging Media Studies (CTEMS) program. The series focuses a critical and historical lens on dance through vintage and modern films, honors the rich contribution of Black dance performance in film, and celebrates a legacy of innovation and artistry. Black Dance in Film highlights performances across several historical periods of cinema, including Hollywood’s 1940s musical era.

Through screenings and conversations, the series explores the Afro-Diasporic roots of Black dance, raising several key questions: How did race and gender politics underline the historical treatment of Black dance artists in early film and complicate the representation of the Black body and Black dance performance? How has the artistry of Black dancers been translated on the big screen in performances that have innovated and revised the possibilities of dance representation in film? How has a mix of diverse styles from traditional African dance movements to ballet and hip-hop evolved in cinematic representation across different historical and social periods?

The screening features the popular, award-winning documentary film “Rize,” in which director and artist David LaChapelle examines the South Central Los Angeles youth dance movement and follows the subculture of clowning and krumping. Popular and critically acclaimed, the film draws parallels between street and African dance forms while mimicking mid-20th century anthropological ritual dance films.

Discussants: Dr. Stephane Dunn, Morehouse College with “Rize” director David LaChapelle

Screening of “Rize” (2005)
Thursday, September 10, 5:30 p.m.
Bank of America Auditorium, Shirley Massey Leadership Building, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive, SW, Atlanta

Download PDF (22 K)