Brotherhood in Rhythm

Brotherhood in Rhythm : The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers

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Description

They were two of the most explosive dancers of the twentieth century, dazzling audiences with dare-devil splits, slides, and hair-raising flips. But they were also highly sophisticated dancers, refining a centuries-old tradition of percussive dance into the rhythmic brilliance of jazz tap at its zenith. They were Fayard and Harold Nicholas, two American masters masterfully portrayed in this new dual biography by Constance Valis Hill. In "Brotherhood in Rhythm", Hill interweaves an intimate portrait of these great performers with a richly detailed history of jazz music and jazz dance, both bringing their act to life and explaining their significance through a colorful analysis of their eloquent footwork, their full-bodied expressiveness, and their changing style. Hill vividly captures their soaring careers, from Cotton Club appearances with Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Jimmie Lunceford, to film-stealing big-screen performances with Chick Webb, Tommy Dorsey, and Glen Miller. Drawing on a deep well of research and endless hours of interviews with the Nicholas brothers themselves, she also documents their struggles against the nets of racism and segregation that constantly enmeshed their careers and denied them the recognition they deserved. And to provide essential background to their career and the development of their art, she also traces the three-hundred-year evolution of jazz tap, showing how it emerged in the Southern colonies in the 1700s, as the Irish jig and West African gioube mutated into the American jig and juba. More than a biography of two talented but underappreciated performers, "Brotherhood in Rhythm" offers a profound new understanding of this distinctively American art and its intricate links to the history of jazz.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 160.02 x 238.76 x 27.94mm | 1,474.17g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195131665
  • 9780195131666

Table of contents

Foreword by Gregory Hines. Preface. Introduction. 1: Born in Jazz. 2: Brothers (1914-1931). 3: Blackbirds in New York. 4: All-Colored Comedy (1934-1936). 5: Babes on Broadway. 6: Class Act and Challenge (1940-1945). 7: Forties Swing, Hollywood Flash (1940-1945). 8: Converging Styles (1942-1945). 9: Swing to Bop (1945-1958). 10: Nostalgia, and All That Jazz (1964-1989). Conclusion. Glossary. Sourcesshow more

About Constance Valis Hill

Constance Valis Hill is a jazz dancer and choreographer, and a highly respected scholar of performance studies. She has taught at the Alvin Ailey School of American Dance, the Conservatoir D'Arts Dramatique in Paris, and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts; her articles and reviews have appeared in such publications as Dance Magazine, the Village Voice, and Dance Research Journal. She currently teaches, lectures, and writes about jazz, tap, and other forms of American vernacular dance. She lives in Albany, New York.show more

Review quote

"Two of the greatest tap dancers in the history of the art were the Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, ...Brotherhood in Rhythm: The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers, ...by Constance Valis Hill, tells the story of the brothers' success."--Publishers Weekly "Two of the greatest tap dancers in the history of the art were the Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, ...Brotherhood in Rhythm: The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers, ...by Constance Valis Hill, tells the story of the brothers' success."--Publishers Weekly "Two of the greatest tap dancers in the history of the art were the Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, ...Brotherhood in Rhythm: The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers, ...by Constance Valis Hill, tells the story of the brothers' success."--Publishers Weekly "Two of the greatest tap dancers in the history of the art were the Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, ...Brotherhood in Rhythm: The Jazz Tap Dancing of the Nicholas Brothers, ...by Constance Valis Hill, tells the story of thebrothers' success."--Publishers Weeklyshow more

Rating details

12 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 25% (3)
4 33% (4)
3 25% (3)
2 17% (2)
1 0% (0)
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