CANCELED: University Forum Lecture: “You Can’t Dance to It:” Bebop as Popular Dance Music


Apr. 2, 2020, 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Office/Remote Location



The College of Liberal Arts’ University Forum Lecture Series presents "“You Can’t Dance To it:” Bebop as Popular Dance Music," a talk by Dr. Christopher J. Wells, Assistant Professor of Musicology, Arizona State University. 

Bebop has a longstanding reputation as a music innately hostile to dancing, but this framing erases the lived experience of young African Americans in the 1940s and 1950s who treated bebop as popular music, dancing to it regularly. This lecture sheds new light on bebop’s status as dance music as revealed in oral histories with dancers and in Mura Dehn’s research notes for her film “The Spirit Moves.” Approaching bebop from social dancers’ perspectives also reveals that bebop’s “undanceable” reputation has less to do with the music’s difficulty than with a desire to position bebop as “art” rather than “entertainment.”



Admission Information

This event is FREE and open to the public. 

Contact Information

Event Sponsor

Sponsored by UNLV College of Liberal Arts, the Dean’s Associates, and the Marjorie Barrick Museum and co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, and the Departments of History and Sociology.

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