The Spirit Moves: A History of Black Social Dance on Film

Published on by The Inquirer

What happens when a Russian dancer inspired by Isadora Duncan meets Josephine Baker in Paris and ends up in the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Welcome to the world of Mura Dehn, the director, editor and narrator of The Spirit Moves – an incredible 3 volume documentary film of African American dance styles.


Sure enough, we’ve all seen James Brown and Michael Jackson drop incredible moves from the Popcorn to the Moonwalk. We’ve clocked Usher and experienced Voguing. We’ve seen Style WarsNicholas Brothers or the Berry Brothers or Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Fortunately, that’s about to change.
and witnessed the birth of breakin’ and poppin’ and lockin’. Online you can find cats crunkin’ in shopping malls but if deep old skool jazz is your bag you’ll have been limited to a couple of Hollywood film clips of the
Nicholas Brothers or the Berry Brothers or Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Fortunately, that’s about to change.

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