A Taste of Honey: Choreographing Mulatta in the Hollywood Dance Film. / Blanco Borelli, Melissa.

In: International Journal of Performing Arts and Digital Media, Vol. 5, No. 2 & 3, 2009, p. 141-152.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



This article examines the filmic representations of the mulatta body in the films Sparkle (1976), Flashdance (1983) and Honey (2003). More specifically, this article seeks to unravel how the Hollywood filmic apparatus engages with signifiers of raced sexuality and hierarchies of dance styles to enforce and reify mythic narratives about dance, dancing raced bodies and dance-making. By establishing a genealogy of the mulatta body in a US context through dance and/or performance films, these juxtapositions illustrate how the mulatta subject develops from a tragic figure (in Sparkle) to an independent and self-reliant one (in Honey). Critical dance studies provide the analytical framework by allowing a focus on particular choreographed and ‘improvised’ dance sequences performed by each film's respective mulatta protagonist.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Performing Arts and Digital Media
Issue number2 & 3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 24468612