Making Caribbean Dance:
Continuity and Creativity in Island Cultures

Susanna Sloat

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"Susanna Sloat has done it again. Following on the heels of the success of Caribbean Dance from Abakua to Zouk, Sloat's new interdisciplinary collection extends the reach of dance scholarship to command the attention of all genres of forward-thinking students of the Caribbean."--Joan Frosch, University of Florida

"Vivid portraits of important, rarely described corners of the Caribbean, revealed through voices both poetic and analytic."--Catherine Evleshin, Portland State University

Caribbean dance is a broad category that can include everything from nightclubs to sacred ritual. Making Caribbean Dance connects the dance of the islands with their rich multicultural histories and complex identities. Delving deep into the many forms of ritual, social, carnival, staged, experimental, and performance dance, the book explores some of the most mysterious and beloved, as well as rare and little-known, dance traditions of the region.

From the evolution of Indian dance in Trinidad to the barely known rituals of los misterios in the Dominican Republic, this volume looks closely at the vibrant and varied movement vocabulary of the islands. With distinctive and highly illuminating chapters on such topics as experimental dance makers in Puerto Rico, the government's use of dance in shaping national identity in Barbados, the role of calypso and soca in linking Anglophone islands, and the invented dances of dance-hall kings and queens of Jamaica, this volume is an evocative and enlightening exploration of some of the world’s most dynamic dance cultures.

Susanna Sloat is a writer, editor, and arts consultant in New York City who has written about many kinds of dance. She is the editor of Caribbean Dance from Abakua to Zouk: How Movement Shapes Identity, winner of the de la Torre Bueno Prize.

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