Burlesque star Chicava HoneyChild to be featured

Burlesque star Chicava HoneyChild, showgirl, scholar, black burlesque historian and president of Brown Girls Burlesque, is on board to be featured in the film, JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana. 

Offering her expert opinion in JIG SHOW, Chicava is the Creative Producer and Proprietress of New York City’s Brown Girls Burlesque and lead teacher of The Broad Squad Institute. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College- her areas of interest being performance art, women of color in burlesque heritage, and sacred sexuality and spirituality. 

She is currently working on a documentary on the legacy of Women of Color in burlesque heritage.  

Visit browngirlsburlesque.com to learn more. 

LOS RAKAS on Board!

Los Rakas, the talented Panamanian duo from Oakland, CA, known for their ferocious, bilingual emcee skills, has committed to bringing their exciting brand of Afro-Latin music to the upcoming documentary film project, JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana. 

Rocking parties around the globe with their popular mix of Hip Hop, Latin, Reggaet├│n and Caribbean dancehall beats, Los Rakas is the future of world music! This perfect collaboration further affirms the most exciting dance music on earth still courses through the Afro-Latin diaspora. Check out Los Rakas music or learn more at losrakas.com

Tampa Production Underway!

Doc Rivera Interview at the Showmen's Museum in Tampa, Florida - With Gazio Productions

Don't wait for the film...See the BROWN SKIN SHOWGIRLS now!

Support the film project and be one of the first to receive Brown Skin Showgirls: A black and white photographic collection of burlesque, exotic, shake, salsa, rumba and chorus line dancers, strippers and cross-dressers from Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana Revue, 1936 to 1967. 

This book is guaranteed to expand your knowledge of Black and Cuban performers that shaped American popular culture. Get ready to be titillated! A portion of the proceeds will help to complete this film project. 



LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK
ORDER ON AMAZON

HARLEM IN HAVANA heads to Cucalorus Film Festival

JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana, a compelling new documentary film by Leslie Cunningham, has recently been accepted into the Cucalorus Film Festival. Cucalorus is a non-competitive festival focused on supporting innovative artists and encouraging creative exchange. 

The festival is held each November in historic downtown Wilmington, North Carolina with screenings of 150 films from around the world. The Works-in-Progress program plays on the double meaning of the word “progress” by supporting films in-production by progressive filmmakers exploring social justice. 

The program showcases up to ten projects and provides direct financial support to at least 15 filmmakers through honorariums, travel stipends, lodging, airfare and rental fees with a special focus on supporting North Carolina filmmakers. The program includes community engagement events, public and private screenings, impact strategy sessions, and one-on-one consultations. Films in the 2014 program focused on the environment, sociopolitical action, race, and the South. 

The Works-in-Progress program is a partnership between Alternate ROOTS, Working Films, the Southern Documentary Fund and is funded in part by the North Carolina Arts Council and Alternate ROOTS. 

Visit Cucalorus Film Festival to learn more.

JIG SHOW!?


Jiggaboo...jigga...jigger...jig. As a journalist and documentarian, I am compelled to search out truth in my work and without bias of my own positionality in the world or in relation to the subject. Thus, I admit, I was offended when I learned my grandfather’s show, Harlem in Havana, was considered the carnival ‘Jig Show’.

 In my lifetime, I’ve known the term ‘jiggaboo’, as an insult to black people, and I immediately made this connection. The idea of calling my film JIG SHOW made me very uncomfortable and continues to make me uncomfortable, as I suspect it will make others uncomfortable as well.

Yet, the more I become aware of the power and punch this three-letter word holds in the progress of this project, the more I become aware of the inevitability of the title. During my research, I found an etymology of the term ‘jig’ born in the European renaissance, in celebration- play and dance to song- that devolved into a racist slur that found a temporary and perplexing home on the pages of Billboard magazine as Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana endeared fans in communities across North America, west of the Mississippi. This so-called ‘jig’ show became a gem in the cap of the world’s largest carnival, while performers of color back east bumped painfully against the walls of the Chitlin Circuit or the coveted few opportunities in America’s major cities.

 I have come to understand that this word and classification reaches beyond the politics of the day as do the discourses on race engaged by my grandfather’s show. A journey into the complexity of American entertainment and race history, JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana, seeks to tell the most honest story.