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Tap Dancing AmericaA Cultural History$
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Constance Valis Hill

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390827

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390827.001.0001

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Simply Full of Jazz

Simply Full of Jazz


(p.68) 4 Simply Full of Jazz
Tap Dancing America

Constance Valis Hill

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with the “Jimtown Fisticuffs” challenge dance between Flournoy E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles in the 1921 Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle black musical comedy Shuffle Along, which launched the Jazz Age and black rhythm tap dancing on the Broadway stage. Jazz dancing was the driving engine of Shuffle Along, the source of visual, visceral, and aural excitement, especially as executed by the all-female chorus of Jazz Jasmines, who were consistently lauded for their unison dancing and rhythmic precision. Jazz tap dancing continued to ignite the rhythmic revolution in the 1920s with such black musicals as Put and Take, Strut Miss Lizzie, Runnin’ Wild, Dixie to Broadway, and Blackbirds of 1928, with its inventive and complex manipulations of time—and time stepping.

Keywords:   Shuffle Along, Jazz Age, jazz tap dancing, rhythmic revolution, female chorus, time stepping, Broadway

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