HBDA gallery

history of black dance

The History of Black Dance in America (HBDA) is a multimedia dance show which explores the 200 year history of African-American Vernacular Jazz Dance in America. The show was performed by the Central Avenue Dance Ensemble (named after the historic African-American section of Los Angeles) live on-stage from 2011 until 2020. Many of these shows were videotaped with camcorders in the theaters, sometimes by paid staff, sometimes by random members of the audience.

The Best of HBDA is a retrospective of selections from these recordings -- the most popular, the most memorable and the sentimental favorites. The show is a unique combination of education and entertainment, the first of it’s kind for this particular subject. This retrospective will be hosted by the renowned tap dancer and dance historian, Chester Whitmore. He will give you a little perspective on the histories of the dances you will see re-created. He will also conduct a short Q&A at the end of the video screenings. He will be joined in this session by HBDA Producer, Director, Writer and Narrator, Ron Parker.

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