Pearl Primus

Primus_YoungPearl Primus

(11/29/1919 — 10/29/1994)

Pearl Primus was born in Trinidad and migrated to the United States at an early age.  She became a much celebrated modern concert dancer in New York and also obtained her doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University.  She met and married Percival Borde, also a Trinidadian dancer of Afro-Caribbean technique.  Together they formed a company, performed, engaged in research and taught for over four decades in the mid to late twentieth century.   Prior to Pearl Primus’ contribution, African dance on the American concert stage had evolved from the embryonic stretches of the imagination that choreographers fashioned to depict a suggestion of Africa to the actual interpretation of limited African ethnic material that gave them legitimacy and applause.


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