TUES 23 April 2024 18:00 – 19:30 BST | 10:00 PDT | 13:00 EDT | 19:00 CEST  £6 / PWYC

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Join Allana Radecki as she shares her ongoing research into the careers of Duke Ellington and his collaborators. This session delves into the fascinating life stories of Aida Overton Walker, Elida Webb, Fredi & Isobel Washington and Marie Bryant. 

Learn how their different careers evolved over time spanning performance, teaching, social activism and community building. We celebrate their triumphs, and learn more about the tribulations they faced in coping with colorism, sexism, racial and professional prejudice. These women and more will be the subject of this webinar, featuring photos, music and film clips to celebrate and appreciate the dancers who performed with Duke Ellington.

More about the dancers featured – 

Aida Overton Walker – dancer, choreographer, teacher, ACTIVIST! – Artistic Matriarch of Jazz Dancers. She established herself among the upper crust of White New York society, teaching the Cakewalk to society people in the U.S. and abroad. Her talents infused all the Williams and Walker musicals and influenced Elida Webb, Grace Glies and everyone who came into her circle.

Elida Webb – dancer, choreographer, Harlem-born, lineage keeper of Aida Overton, nurtured and trained women dancers for over twenty years. Webb received formal dance training growing up. Her credits include Shuffle Along, Runnin’ Wild, Showboat and choreographer at the Club Alabam and the Cotton Club. She codified the Charleston and helped compose “Stormy Weather.”

Fredi and Isabel Washington – These extraordinary, multi-talented, socially conscious sisters took advantage of opportunities and dealt with setbacks. 

Marie Bryant – Dancer, singer, choreographer, great influencer of jazz dance, student of Mary Bruce and Katherine Dunham, invested in social change from childhood. 

Also mentioned are: Bessie Dudley, Cora La Redd, Maude Russell, Carmen De Lavallade, Mildred Dixon.

About Allana

Artist, educator and performer, Allana Radecki has a BA in Fine Arts and MA in African American, African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University. Her research focuses on the interlocking roots and culture of jazz music and dance through autobiography and oral history. Her current book project examines the multi-faceted relationship between Duke Ellington and jazz dance, with an emphasis on tap dancers. A noted teacher of Hatha Yoga, Rhythm Tap and Modern Dance since 1986, she has taught thousands of classes to thousands of people of all ages. As a jazz tap dancer, Allana loves to improvise and also explores West African and Afro- Brazilian percussion including many years with Women of Mass Percussion and five seasons with the Indiana University Brazilian Ensemble.