Pew Center for Arts and Heritage

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Germaine Ingram performs in Parallel Destinies. Courtesy of James Wasserman.

Questions of Practice: Choreographer Germaine Ingram on the Responsibilities of Creating Socially Engaged Art

Choreographer, dancer, and Pew Fellow Germaine Ingram talks with us about the responsibilities of creating socially engaged art. She discusses the challenges that can arise when academic institutions embrace the practice and the importance of maintaining a meaningful connection to what she calls the “lived reality” of the communities directly addressed and affected by social practice projects.

Choreographer and dancer Germaine Ingram on the responsibilities of creating socially engaged art. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on March 3, 2015.

Germaine Ingram took up dance at the age of 33 under the tutelage and mentorship of the late LaVaughn Robinson, a Philadelphia tap legend and a 1992 Pew Fellow. Since then, Ingram has become a major figure in contemporary jazz tap, following in the tradition of her forbearers while breaking new ground in the art form through oral history, filmmaking, and stage production, in addition to performance and choreography. Ingram’s work addresses social justice and historical narratives, as well as various aspects of the African-American experience, through projects such as Parallel Destinies.