Ella Rosewood Dance
Choreography, performance, and education based in Brooklyn, NY.

Negro Spirituals

Negro Spirituals (1928-32)
Choreographed by Helen Tamiris

Images of Ella Rosewood in "Negro Spirituals" (1928-32) choreographed by Helen Tamiris. Photos by Jaqlin Medlock. 


Negro Spirituals
Go Down Moses (1932)
Swing Low (1929)
Git on Board (1932)
Crucifixion (1931)
Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (1928)

Choreography by Helen Tamiris
Staged from the Labanotation score by Elizabeth McPherson with permission of the Dance Notation Bureau
Coached by Dianne McIntyre
Danced by Ella Rosewood
Notation score by Lucy Venable, 1967
Music Traditional, arranged by Genevieve Pitot
Costume constructed by JoAnne Tucker with alterations by Cheryl Lovett

Helen Tamiris (1902-1966) was a founder of American Modern Dance who infused much of her choreography with social conscious themes. She first studied dance at Henry Street Settlement and then with the children’s chorus at the Metropolitan Opera Company where she began performing at the age of fifteen.  Tamiris made her premiere as a solo modern dancer in 1927; two years later she formed her own school and company. Concerned with establishing modern dance as a viable art form, Tamiris was active in organizing dance artists and played an integral role in establishing the Federal Dance Project under the WPA.  Notable works in addition to Negro Spirituals include Walt Whitman Suite (1934) and How Long Brethren? (1937) which won Dance Magazine’s first award for group choreography. Tamiris choreographed for Broadway shows including Annie Get Your Gun (1946) and Touch and Go (1949), for which she won a Tony Award®.