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Jamila Glass 'Expands The View' Of Black Dancers

Jamila Glass‘ debut short 'Love on a Sunday Afternoon' "expands the view" of black dancers.


Love on a Sunday Afternoon is dancer and director Jamila Glass' debut short. The film has the mood of the popular webseries The Couple, except here the beautiful bourgie people occasionally burst into dance. On her Tumblr, The Cutting Room, Glass explains the impetus for the project:

My goal with this film was to expand the view of Black culture and Black dancers.  We are more than just a good booty pop.  We are versatile. We are technical. And we don’t want to be underestimated.

The choreography doesn't plumb the more murky depths of interpersonal relationships (like Katrin Hall's work for Shakira), and while romantic and warm, the couplings are disappointingly heteronormative. However, the film picks up as the dancers segway from a playful soul train into the central sequence which is subtly reminiscent of the only technicolor scene in Spike Lee's classic She's Gotta Have It. Here, Glass puts Janelle Monáe's reworking of Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune to stunning use. The twining and untwining of the dancers' bodies paired with the onlookers' awed faces result in an entrancing sequence, both a celebration of summer love and a formidable display of these dancers' prowess.

The film had its debut in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, and you can watch it below in its entirety.

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Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images

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