The cover of a music book for the musical "He's Up Against The Real Thing Now," starring Bert Williams and George Walker, 1898

When Black Celebrities Wore Blackface

A Black Bohemia flourished in New York before the Harlem Renaissance and with it a new type of self-determined, contradictory Black celebrity.
DJ Kool Herc speaks during a press conference about the fate of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, a building considered by many to be the birthplace of hip hop on January 15, 2008 in the Bronx

The Rec Room Party Where Hip-Hop Was Born

Thinking quickly and reading the dance floor, an innovative DJ began playing the funkiest parts of every record.
The sheet music booklet for I'm Just Wild About Harry

When the Truman Campaign Used a Song from an All-Black Show

"I'm Just Wild about Harry" originated with the songwriting team of Sissle and Blake and first appeared in the Broadway musical Shuffle Along.
Charles Mingus

The Newport Rebels and Jazz as Protest

In 1960 a group of jazz musicians organized an alternative to the Newport Jazz Festival, which they saw as too pop and too white.
Yvonne Rainer

Yvonne Rainer, Postmodern Dance, and You

In the 1960s, a group of artists started experimenting with choreography based on ordinary movement and improvisation. Now your living room is the stage.
Sarah Bernhardt, 1899

To Be or Not to Be Hamlet

The drama of playing the famous prince. In pictures.
Playwright Terrence McNally in 2010

How Terrence McNally Reimagined the Danse Macabre

The centerpiece of the prize-winning Love! Valor! Compassion! is a rehearsal for an affirming staging of Swan Lake—in drag.
A moustachioed young man and a girl in long braids dance the 'original polka' on page one of 'Jullien's Celebrated Polkas', dedicated to Mr E Coulon.

The Rebellious, Scandalous Origins of Polka

The dance is often associated with the traditions of immigrant communities in America. But it emerged in Europe during a time of radicalism.
El Jaleo by John Singer Sargent, 1882

What Did Franco’s Spain Do to Spanish Music?

Contemporary Spanish genres like flamenco and zarzuela still carry the weight of cultural associations with Franco’s fascist regime.
King Lear, Act I, Scene I by Edwin Austin Abbey

The Rowdy Women of Early Modern Theater

There were, in fact, women in the audiences of Shakespeare’s plays. Some came to watch; others to sell their wares; others to get on stage themselves.