Paul R. Jones Annual Distinguished Lecture: John O. Perpener III
The Paul R. Jones Annual Lecture honors Paul R. Jones and his gift of African American art to the University of Delaware. Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Annual Lecture underscores the significance of Black arts to humanistic studies and showcases individuals whose contributions to the field are exemplary, interdisciplinary, and inspiring.
The 2023 Paul R. Jones Distinguished Lecture, AFRICAN-AMERICAN CONCERT DANCERS: ACTIVISM, ADVOCACY, AND PROTEST, will be given by John O. Perpener III, dance historian and scholar. Perpener authored the book African-American Concert Dance: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond and served as a primary consultant and commentator for the PBS documentary “Free to Dance.” He has worked with the Hartford Ballet Company, the D.C. Black Repertory Dance Company and the Maryland Dance Theater.
UD offers several related events: a unique theater experience titled Suite Blackness: Black Dance in Cinema (February 16 - 18), and an art exhibit related to Black dance in Mechanical Hall (opens February 7).
The production is a journey through racial and cultural tensions from the 1920s to present day, revealed through films such as “Stormy Weather” (1943), “The Wiz” (1978), “School Daze” (1988) and “Rize” (2005). Artists such as Bill Bojangles Robinson, Katherine Dunham, Josephine Baker and Michael Jackson will also be showcased.
The show is a collaboration between the faculty in UD’s departments of theater and dance, the REP Theater and choreographers, dancers, poets and singers from Wilmington, Newark, Dover and Baltimore. Lessons are also being developed to share with K-12 schools in collaboration with the Delaware Institute for Arts in Education.
Mechanical Hall Display
The exhibit features five works of art celebrating dance from a variety of perspectives.
Four photographs, gifts to UD’s Museums from Paul R. Jones, reflect various aspects of Black dance culture as seen through the lenses of two prominent African American photographers, Jim Alexander and Ming Smith. They explore the inspirational role of prominent leaders in the dance community, a dramatic moment of a performance, and the sense of exuberance that dance can bring. A lithograph, donated to the Museums by the Brandywine Workshop, is by prominent Jamaican-born artist, Keith Morrison and represents the energy of dance in an entirely abstract mode.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023 at 5:00pm
Gore Recital Hall, in the Roselle Center for the Arts 110 Orchard Road, Newark DE 19716