Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

3/1/2012 - 2/28/2013

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

Political and Social Activism in African American Concert Dance: Eleo Pomare and the Black Arts Movement

FAIN: FB-56469-12

John Oliver Perpener III
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (Washington, DC 20012-1460)

I am proposing an extensive period of writing and any further research that needs to be done to complete the work on my book on dancer/choreographer Eleo Pomare and several artists who were associated with him. He made important contributions to the development of a black aesthetic in American concert dance. The book will emphasize the 1960s and 1970s, decades when the Black Arts Movement influenced African-American artists to become involved in political and social struggles by creating work specifically for black audiences and promoting messages of self-empowerment. Pomare worked with playwright Leroi Jones [Amiri Baraka] in 1965 and then went on to create his own scathing indictments of racial oppression. My study will expand the literature of dance history and American cultural history by including the stories of African-American dance artists who pursued the entwined missions of artistic production and social, political, and cultural activism, during a volatile time in America.

Associated Products

Radical Black Traditions: Dancer/Choreographer Eleo Pomare (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Radical Black Traditions: Dancer/Choreographer Eleo Pomare
Author: John O. Perpener III
Abstract: This presentation focused on dancer/choreographer Eleo Pomare and his aesthetic, social, and political imperatives during the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and1970s. It stressed his early association with other black artists and intellectuals who were active during the period; and it emphasized important projects such as the Dancemobile, his series of traveling dance concerts that were presented throughout the New York City area. Such projects underscored the mission of the Black Arts Movement to take meaningful art to African-American communities that would not otherwise have access to that type of cultural enrichment. Of equal importance, proponents of the Black Arts Movement made it a point to see that their art underscored messages of self-definition, self-esteem, and self-empowerment.
Date: 7/18/2015
Conference Name: National Black Arts Festival Symposium--Atlanta, Georgia--July 18-20, 2015