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Rainer E. Lotz

[Henry ]

(b Atlanta, July 14, 1907; d New York, Oct 17, 1962). American singer and dancer. He began his career in Atlanta at an early age and first worked on the Theater Owners' Booking Association circuit in 1920. During the 1920s and 1930s he toured the USA, performing in nightclubs and theaters for vaudeville and minstrel shows, and became particularly well known for his song Bring it on home. He also appeared in several revues, notably Blackbirds of 1933–4. Williams’s nickname “Rubberlegs” describes his “legomania” dancing, which combined high kicks, wriggles, shimmies, and other steps; the short film Smash your Baggage (1933) clearly demonstrates his style of tap-dancing. Williams performed with Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, and Dicky Wells; he sang his own composition That’s the Blues on a recording with Clyde Hart (1945, Contl 6013), and recorded under his own name accompanied by Herbie Fields’s band (...

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Claude Conyers

(b Kansas City, MO, Dec 21, 1950). American modern dancer, choreographer, and company director. She was trained in various styles of show dancing by Joseph Stevenson, who had been a student of the famed dance anthropologist Katherine Dunham. Zollar followed in Dunham’s scholarly footsteps, eventually earning a master’s degree in fine arts at Florida State University, where she also studied ballet and modern dance. In 1980 she relocated to New York and continued her studies with Dianne McIntyre. Following her childhood bent for making up dances, she founded her own company, Urban Bush Women, in 1984, and began choreographic explorations of the history and culture of African American women in an urban, multi-ethnic environment. Blending modern and jazz dance, her works range in subject matter from Shelter (1988), a piercing study of homelessness, to Batty Moves (1995), a saucy celebration of the buttocks of black women. Some of Zollar’s dances are evening-length works performed to percussive sounds, a capella vocalizations, music by contemporary composers, and the spoken word, arising from librettos written by poets and novelists. Notable among these is ...