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Irene Chagall

Irene Chagall, a San Francisco-based music teacher, discovered her passionate interest in girlsí hand clapping games during a trip to Ghana, where she saw young girls playing many of the same games as American children. Irene brought her research to the Smithsonian Institutionís Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and became a Smithsonian Research Fellow. Teaming up with Steve Zeitlin, their efforts led to funding from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2009, which was renewed in 2011 and 2013. Chagall, first-time director and producer, continued gathering archival footage from around the world. She identified four principal characters to follow in the film, working closely with (1) (the late) folklorist Bess Lomax Hawes, (2) Kyra Gaunt, TED Fellow and author of The Games Black Girls Play, (3) consultant and participant Khadijah Shaheed, who grew up the Marcy Housing Projects in Brooklyn, and (4) the group Mind Builders in the Bronx. (04/15)

Letís Get the Rhythm
A film by Irene Chagall, 2014, 53 min., Color

LET'S GET THE RHYTHM invites the viewer to explore the history of hand-clapping games around the world. Through wars and migrations, across language b...

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