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E. MONCELL E. DURDEN

is a dance educator, choreographer, ethnographer, embodied historian, author and associate professor of practice at the University of Southern California’s Glorya Kaufman International School of Dance. He specializes in pedagogical practices that prove cultural and historical context in what he calls the morphology of Afro-kinetic memory.  

 

A highly sought after instructor, Durden teaches practical and theoretical classes in the U.S. and abroad and is an expert in locking, house, hip- hop, authentic jazz, and party dances from 1900 to the present. He is a member of Mop Top Crew, the pioneering NYC Hip Hop dance group, and alumnus of Rennie Harris Puremovement, the Philadelphia-based hip-hop theater company. Before joining the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance faculty, Durden taught for seven years at Drexel University. He held appointments at the Yale School of Drama, Wesleyan University, and Bennington College. He has published articles in Jazz Dance: A History of the Roots and Branches, Rooted Jazz Dance: Africanist Aesthetics and Equity in the Twenty-First Century, and the The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America. He is currently writing an article for the Oxford Handbook of Hip-Hop Dance.  His groundbreaking documentary, Everything Remains Raw: A Historical Perspective on Hip Hop Dance, was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Vladivostok, Russia as a work in progress to screen at their 2013 film festival.  

 

 In 2010, Durden founded INTANGIBLE ROOTS, an organization dedicated to the education and preservation of Afro-Diasporic social dance formations.

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