Primus, Pearl. (1919–1994)
A rare signed photograph from the American dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist who played an important role in the presentation of African dance to American audiences. She is shown in an action photo, leaping into the air, with another dancer and a drummer, and has signed and inscribed at the lower left to Paul McMahon. Very fine. 8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.5 cm).
Primus was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, and immigrated to New York City as a child. Her dance training began with a scholarship from the left-wing school and performance company New Dance Group. In the early 1940's, she began her research into African dance, and completed her first composition, African Ceremonial. She went on to tour the United States with her own company, and traveled to West Africa to further her research.
From the collection of Paul McMahon, a critic, photographer and artist who worked for more than 13 years touring with Marlene Dietrich as the icon’s stage manager, announcer, dresser, secretary and escort, and later spent 25 years as an arts and entertainment reviewer and photographer with Gay Community News, Esplanade, Tommy’s Connection, The Mirror, Bay Windows and other publications.