Pearl Primus

Pearl_Primus2Pearl Eileen Primus

(November 29, 1919 – October 29, 1994)

Pearl Eileen Primus was a dancer, choreographer and enthropologist.  Primus played an important role in the presentation of African dance to American audiences. Early in her career she saw the need to promote African dance as an art form worthy of study and performance.

Primus’ work was a reaction to myths of savagery and the lack of knowledge about African people.
It was an effort to guide the Western world to view African dance as an
important and dignified statement about another way of life.

Additionally, her work provided knowledge and meaning for dances that had been plagued by
distortion of movement and excessive hip shaking of the backside.