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Role of Dance: Aesthetics and Metaphysics

This entry focuses on the continuing evolution of aesthetics and metaphysics in African dance in North America. Its relevance to North America and the African diaspora is supported by the work of Robert Farris Thompson and others who acknowledge elements of African influence on visual arts in North America and the African diaspora, including its dance and music. It is informed by Kariamu Welsh-Asante’s contention that, in order to understand the role of dance, it is essential on the one hand to explore aesthetic qualities of movement that each dance performer or audience feels about dance, and on the other, to look deeper into the metaphysical elements and multiple meanings that dance has for the specific society in which it is grounded.

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