Skip to main content
Back to search
  • Add to playlist

The Wedding

Pearl Primus produced this piece following her research in what was then Zaire. 'The Wedding' was backed by the New York Times journalist Anna Kisselgoff, who wrote: “[This piece] is not a modernized stylized representation of an African ritual. This is authentic. The authenticity is adapted and translated into an acceptable theatrical language. Miss Primus was able to reproduce this particular form with brilliance worthy of the greatest scenographers.”

Credits

Creation 1960
Choregraphy : Pearl Primus
Transmission : Mary Waithe
Rerun by : James Carlès
Duration : 20 mn
Interpreters :12 dancers, 3 musicians et 1 singer

Carlès, James

James Carles is a choreographer, researcher and lecturer. He received initial training in dance and music of Africa and its Diaspora and then trained with the great names of modern dance in New York and London mainly. Since 1992, he hired an artistic and analytical approach that explores the “places junctions” between the dances, rhythms and philosophies of Africa and its Diaspora with technical and western thoughts frames. To date, his company’s directory contains more than fifty pieces of his own creation and authors like Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus, Talley Beatty, Asadata Dafora, Geraldine Armstrong, Rick Odums, Wayne Barbaste, Carolyn Carlson, Robyn Orlin, etc.


Dancer soloist and outstanding performer, James Carles was performer and artistic collaborator for not only numerous “all music” ranging from Baroque to contemporary music, through jazz; but also choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Robyn Orlin, Rui Horta, Myriam Naisy, etc.

Artist associated with Astrada- Jazz In Marciac 2012-2014, research associate in the laboratory of the University LLA Créatis Jean Jaures Toulouse, James Carles is particularly invests in heritage projects for diversity and diffusion of choreographic culture. He is also founder and artistic director of the festival “Dances and Black Continents”.

Primus, Pearl

(1919-1994)

Pearl Primus was born in Trinidad and grew up in New York. An artist dedicated to African heritage, she combined anthropology and choreography to help break down the terrible racial barriers that were on her path. In 1941, she was granted a scholarship for the New Dance Group’s Interracial Dance School. Two years later, she launched her professional career with her first solo dance recital.

Pearl Primus frequently stigmatized racism in her choreographies. 'Strange Fruit' (1943) dealt with lynching. 'Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore' (1979) was a response to the 1963 racist bomb attack against the Baptist Church on the 16th Street which killed four young Afro-American girls. Among her other notable works, 'The Negro Speaks of Rivers' (1943) and 'African Ceremonial' (1944) are well worth mentioning. Pearl Primus also created choreographies on Broadway, in particular for 'Caribbean Carnival' (1947) and 'The Emperor Jones' (1947).

In 1948, she obtained a grant to make an important research trip to Africa to study the traditional dances of the African continent. Upon her return to New York, she opened the Pearl Primus School of Primal Dance. At the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, she lived in Africa. Hand-in-hand with her husband, Percival Borde, she founded the Konoma Kende Centre in Liberia, the first traditional performance arts centre in Africa.

Upon their return to the United States, Pearl Primus and Percival Borde opened the Primus-Borde School of Dance. Pearl Primus graduated with a Doctorate in Philosophy from New York University in 1978 and set up the Pearl Primus Dance Language Institute the same year. She also taught in several post-secondary institutions, in particular Howard University, New York University and the Five College Consortium in Massachusetts.

Source : Arts Alive National Arts Centre

More information

dance-teacher.com

Carlès, James

Since 2016, James Carlès has made the choice to make available to the public a selection of its videos.

The Wedding

Choreography : Création 1960 - Chorégraphe : Pearl Primus - Passeur : Mary Waithe - Reprise James Carlès

Interpretation : 12 danseurs, 3 musiciens et 1 chanteuse

Live music : chants et percussions traditionnels africains

Our videos suggestions
01:46

Grand Finale

Shechter, Hofesh (United Kingdom)

  • Add to playlist
02:48

Questcequetudeviens ?

Bory, Aurélien (France)

  • Add to playlist
03:07

Skin

Tchouda, Bouba Landrille (France)

  • Add to playlist
06:24

Colin Dunne & eRikm Project

Dunne, Colin (France)

  • Add to playlist
48:04

Peuplé, dépeuplé

Ben Aïm, Christian & François (France)

  • Add to playlist
02:13

Peuplé, dépeuplé

Ben Aïm, Christian & François (France)

  • Add to playlist
04:00

The birth of "coupé décalé"

Carlès, James (France)

  • Add to playlist
05:54

Coupé Décalé Act 2

Carlès, James (France)

  • Add to playlist
00:00:30

Didier Labbé Quartet - DCN 2013

  • Add to playlist
02:34

Snakeskins

Lachambre, Benoît (Canada)

  • Add to playlist
06:39

Dans les plis du paysage : Création à la Maison

  • Add to playlist
10:54

Carolyn Carlson et Michel Portal

Carlson, Carolyn (France)

  • Add to playlist
06:36

L'après-midi d'un faune (1965)

Jooss, Kurt (France)

  • Add to playlist
09:30

L'après-midi d'un faune (1912)

Nijinsky, Vaslav (France)

  • Add to playlist
02:59

Eins Zwei Drei

Zimmermann, Martin (France)

  • Add to playlist
05:30

Folias & Jacaras

Yepes, Ana (France)

  • Add to playlist
00:00:54

Teaser de "Grito de Pelao" Rocío Molina et Sílvia Pérez Cruz

Molina, Rocío (France)

  • Add to playlist
02:45

Miscelania onírica

Pericet, Olga (France)

  • Add to playlist
02:43

bal.exe

Nguyen, Anne (France)

  • Add to playlist
02:11

Improvisation Carolyn Carlson et Michel Portal

Carlson, Carolyn (France)

  • Add to playlist
Our themas suggestions

Roots of Diversity in Contemporary Dance

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

CHRISTIAN & FRANÇOIS BEN AÏM – VITAL MOMENTUM

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

40 years of dance and music

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Indian dances

Discover Indian dance through choreographic creations which unveil it, evoke it, revisit it or transform it!

Parcours

fr/en/

James Carlès

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

les ballets C de la B and the aesthetic of reality

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Meeting with literature

Collaboration between a choreographer and a writer can lead to the emergence of a large number of combinations. If sometimes the choreographer creates his dance around the work of an author, the writer can also choose dance as the subject of his text.

Parcours

fr/en/

Do you mean Folklores?

Presentation of how choreographers are revisiting Folklore in contemporary creations.

Parcours

fr/en/

Dance in Quebec: Untamed Bodies

First part of the Parcours about dance in Quebec, these extracts present how bodies are being used in a very physical way.

Parcours

fr/en/

Maison de la danse

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Improvisation

 Discovery of improvisation’s specificities in dance. 

Parcours

fr/en/

Dance and music

The relationship between music and choreographic works varies throught dance history.

Parcours

fr/en/

“Dansons Maintenant”! A contemporary dance festival in Benin

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

EIVV 2022 Dancing with the camera

Exposition virtuelle

fr/en/

Black Dance

James Carlès, dancer and choreographer and specialist of Afro-American dance, evokes the origin of current-day urban dances. From Africa to the United States via Europe, he emphasizes their hybrid style and puts their social and political dimension into perspective. A myriad of videos, photos, illustrations and additional resources complement this interview.

Webdoc

fr/en/

Why do I dance ?

Social dances, anti-establishment, protest dances, rhythms or identities, rituals or pleasures... There are a myriad of reasons for dancing and a myriad of points of view. A webdoc to discover, enhanced with extracts from performances and accounts from amateurs... all the right reasons for dancing!

Webdoc

fr/en/

Genesis of work

A dance show is created in multiples steps between the enunciation of an initial desire which launch the project and the first representation. This parcours presents diff

Parcours

fr/en/

Artistic Collaborations

Panorama of different artistic collaborations, from « couples » of choreographers to creations involving musicians or plasticians

Parcours

fr/en/

Hand dances

This parcours presents different video extracts in which hands are the center of the mouvement.

Parcours

fr/en/

Hip hop / Influences

This Course introduce to what seems to be Hip Hop’s roots.

Parcours

fr/en/
By accessing the website, you acknowledge and accept the use of cookies to assist you in your browsing.
You can block these cookies by modifying the security parameters of your browser or by clicking onthis link.
I accept Learn more