ONLINE Tues 18 June 2024 19:00 – 20:00 BST | 11:00 PDT | 14:00 EDT | 20:00 CEST

Join us for a special Network Session as part of our Annual Research Festival. This session is a follow-up event from the April TDRN UK Online Talk Series: Duke Ellington’s Dancers – The Women.  Allana Radecki presents more of her research into the careers of Duke Ellington and his collaborators. Featuring oral histories and a focus on archival research, Allana reflects on the process of her research and what she has learned about the fascinating life stories of Aida Overton Walker, Elida Webb, Fredi & Isabel Washington, Marie Bryant and more! Learn how their different careers evolved beyond the stage, spanning performance, teaching, social activism and building communities.


Allana’s research features rare footage, audio clips, photos, and interviews of dancers who performed with Duke Ellington. During this event, you will have the chance to re-watch these amazing clips and discuss issues such as colourism, sexism, professional prejudice and the impact it had on the careers of these amazing women. As part of your ticket, you have the option to purchase the initial 2-hour recording of the first Duke Ellington’s Dancers – The Women or just attend this session for free!


The session features these amazing performers:


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.


Performers Bessie Dudley, Cora La Redd, Maude Russell, Carmen De Lavallade, and Mildred Dixon are also featured.


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.


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