DVD and DVD + 3-Year Site/Local Streaming
28 minutes, 2002 Producer: Patrick Mureithi
ABOUT THE FILM
The origin and evolution of African American collegiate stepping is explored in this energetic and informative documentary. Stepping is a popular communal art form in which teams of young dancers compete, using improvisation, call and response, complex meters, propulsive rhythms and a percussive attack.
Stepping dates back to the early 20th century, when Black veterans of World War I enrolled in colleges. Inspired by their military training, they brought to their dances a highly rigorous, drill-like component and combined it with elements from other Black dances, just as today's steppers often add hip-hop movements. Spike Lee's 1988 film, School Daze, brought stepping to a wider audience.
Scholarly commentary from a wide range of disciplines points to a high degree of cultural retention in the dances. This commentary, interwoven with lively and exciting stepping performance footage, provides a historical and cultural context for this creative and affirming phenomenon sweeping college campuses.
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"A comprehensive look at the art of stepping, providing a much needed historical explanation for one of the most misunderstood yet highly visible forms of self expression. This documentary is a must see for all members of Black Greek lettered organizations."
Walter M. Kimbrough, Albany State University
"This video provides young steppers all across the country who practice the art form a comprehensive look at a rapidly-developing dance tradition."
Brian Williams, Director, Step Afrika!
"This fast-paced program would be of primary interest to college students and teenagers."