Dancing in the Archives Delights Audiences and Highlights Spaces

On April 26, 2023, 21 Dance majors enrolled in Dr. Rachel Carrico’s Dance History course performed “Dancing in the Archives,” a site-specific suite of dances staged in the Smathers Special Collections’ Judaica Suite. The students’ choreographies were inspired by their archival research in the Belknap and Hurston collections, where they peered into the lives and works of three leading African American women in US dance history: Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus, and Zora Neale Hurston. The audience roamed from location to location to view five works in total, followed by a Q&A with the student artists.

The project marks four years of collaboration between Dr. Carrico and archivists Jim Liversidge and Florence Turcotte to support Dance students’ archival research in the UF collections. This year, Rebecca Jefferson joined the team to coordinate the class’s first-ever onsite performance.