Dance! Philadelphia Dance!
Presented in Partnership with AFROTAINO PRODUCTIONS
Cuban Pete Dances Philadelphia
Directed by Barry Dornfeld
2007, 27 minutes
This documentary profiles Pedro Aguilar, considered the "the greatest mambo dancer ever." Known as “Cuban Pete”, Aguilar began dancing in the late 1940s in New York, and rode the mambo craze through the '50s and '60s. This documentary takes you on the journey of him choreographing, rehearsing and performing several shows during his residence with the School of Dance at The University of the Arts. It also draws on historic footage, still photographs and scenes of Aguilar’s interviews about his life and his experience translating this art form to a contemporary setting. Sadly Cuban Pete passed away on January 14, 2009.
Plenty of Good Women Dancers
Directed by Germaine Ingram, Debora Kodish & Barry Dornfeld
2001, 53 minutes
This documentary features exceptional local African American women tap dancers whose careers spanned the 1920s-1950s. Restricted to few roles, often unnamed and uncredited, these women have largely remained anonymous within (and outside) of the entertainment industry and sometimes even within the communities in which they reside. Glamorous film clips, photographs, and dancers own vivid recollections provide a dynamic portrait of veteran women hoofers prominent during the golden age of swing and rhythm tap. The film features many greats including Libby Spencer, Hortense Allen Jordan, LaVaughn Robinson, Germaine Ingram, and Cora LaRedd.
Barry Dornfeld is a management consultant, documentary filmmaker, media researcher, and educator. His documentary work, which has been shown on public television and won awards at festivals and competitions, includes: LaVaughn Robinson; Dancing History, Look Forward and Carry on the Past: Stories from Philadelphia’s Chinatown, contributions to Indivisible -- Local Heroes: Changing America, national touring exhibit and book, Gandy Dancers, portraying the expressive culture and history of African-American railroad workers in the US, and broadcast nationally on PBS, Look Forward and Carry on the Past: Stories from Philadelphia’s Chinatown, broadcast on WYBE-TV Philadelphia, Powerhouse for God, and Plenty of Good Women Dancers: African-American Women Hoofers in Philadelphia.
Germaine Ingram came under the spell of jazz tap dance in the early 1980s when she began intensive study with internationally acclaimed tap artist and teacher LaVaughn Robinson. She has pursued tap's call through performance, choreography, teaching, oral history, video-making and stage production. Since 1985 she has performed with her mentor, Robinson, and as a soloist. She has performed and taught workshops throughout the United States and Europe and in the Caribbean. She has shared bills with tap greats spanning at least three generations, including Honi Coles, Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown, the Nicholas Brothers, Gregory Hines, Dianne Walker, Brenda Bufalino, Savion Glover and Bakari Wilder. She appeared with Robinson in the Emmy Award-winning public television production "Gregory Hines' Tap Dance in America."
Debora Kodish is the founder of the Philadelphia Folklore Project. She has directed the organization since its inception in 1987 and has focused on developing projects that support the culture and folk arts of Philadelphia communities since that time. Her work has resulted in numerous exhibitions, public programs and publications, as well as opportunities for local folk artists and grassroots cultural organizations.
Storyville is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.