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Plenty of Good Women Dancers

Film by Barry Dornfeld, Germaine Ingram, Debora Kodish
Produced by Barry Dornfeld, and Debora Kodish
Cinematographer: Barry Dornfeld with Chris Emmanoulides
Sound: Steve Rowland with Kate Pourshariarti and Debora Kodish
Editing: Barry Dornfeld and Debora Kodish with Sharon Mullally
Copyright: 2004, Philadelphia Folklore Project
53 minutes, Color
Original format: Betacam SP, 2004
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Barry Dornfeld, Germaine Ingram, Debora Kodish or to the distributor, Philadelphia Folklore Project.


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


Plenty of Good Women Dancers features exceptional Philadelphia African American women tap dancers whose active 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. Historic 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. "Plenty" features 1995 performances by Edith "Baby Edwards" Hunt, Libby Spencer and Hortense Allen Jordan, with LaVaughn Robinson, Germaine Ingram, Delores and Dave McHarris, Kitty DeChavis, Isabelle Fambro and the cast of "Stepping in Time," and historic footage of these and other artists. Additional resources include a documentary photography exhibition:

Plenty of Good Women Dancers provides rich material for thought about the interpenetration of jazz music and dance in black culture during the 1930s and '40s. This subtle documentary demonstrates the quiet revolutions of women negotiating… differences. The strength of this video lies most forthrightly in how it unveils the gaps and conflicts over representation and production inherent in any performance. I strongly recommend “Plenty of Good Women Dancers” as a resource for black music studies or gender studies (especially within a minority culture).—Kyra Gaunt, Ethnomusicology


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