Film poster for "Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance" with dancers posing with their arms out.
Film poster for "Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance" with dancers posing with their arms out.
Celebrating the African roots, history, lineage and future progressions of jazz dance through a social and political lens


Regular price $759.00


BEST OF FEST FEATURE - Dance on Camera Film Festival | BEST MUSICAL DOCUMENTARY AWARD - Rhode Island International Film Festival

History of Jazz Dance • African American History  American History • Choreography • Arts and Performance

Date of Completion: 2020 | Run Time: 94 minutes​​ | Language: English with English & Spanish subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Study Guide (Available upon purchase) | Director: Khadifa Wong | Producers: Lisa Donmall-Reeve & Kimberley Browning | Original Concept & Additional Choreography: Zak Nemorin

UPROOTED is a feature-length documentary celebrating the African history, lineage, and future progressions of jazz dance. With a stellar cast of leading industry experts, award-winning choreographers, and legendary performers, this groundbreaking documentary goes back to the roots in Africa and follows the evolution of this incredible dance form through every single decade and genre. Exploring and commenting on political and social influences, the film addresses topics such as appropriation, racism, socialism, and sexism. UPROOTED includes special appearances with Debbie Allen, George Faison, Chita Rivera, Camille A. Brown and Thomas F. DeFrantz and showcases the works of the Nicholas Brothers, Pepsi Bethel, Jack Cole, Katherine Dunham, Bob Fosse and Gene Kelly.

Educational Media Reviews Online | Reviewed by Linda Dempf, Music and Media Librarian, The College of New Jersey
"This film is an excellent introduction to a truly American dance form, while decentering whiteness and raising broader issues of racial bias and cultural hierarchies. It has wide appeal and would be suitable for classes in dance, African American studies, American studies, cultural studies, and history."

Video Librarian | J. Zimmerman
☆ "[T]hose teaching dance, high school-level history teachers, and public librarians should heavily consider this title."

New Yorker Magazine
"Illustrates an often disrespected genre and a history as complex as that of race in America."

Hollywood Reporter | Sheri Linden
"Offers and enriching collective to the official story of jazz dance."
"A thoughtful and impassioned look at the often ignored roots of a quintessential art form."
"Khadifa Wong's Uprooted couldn't be more timely"

The Guardian | Lyndsey Winship
"Uprooted is a fascinating piece of social history."
"A film that reclaims the history of jazz dance"

Dance Magazine | Crystal Nicholls
"A fascinating deep dive into the complex history and evolution of jazz dance."
"This documentary will make you fall in love with jazz dance all over again."

Dancing Times Magazine | Marianka Swain
"Uprooted's timing feels perfect"

ALT Africa | Khadifa Wong
"My goal was to make a film about dance ....not a dance film."

France 24 (TV Interview)
"UPROOTED - an illuminating film that reclaims true the history of jazz dance"

Dance Tabs
"Uprooted is alive as a documentary...really searching for the truth about jazz dance (and) to demonstrate the genres deep complexity."

Frame Form
"You can see how 'normal' people would see such incredible value in this film....it's rich history, social cultural context and I just love how the film does not feel like a lecture."
"The film is not telling you what to think it's giving you the exposure so you compose your own thoughts..."

500 Days of Film
"Now, perhaps more than ever, we need to protect the arts - as a result, UPROOTED - Khadifa Wong's thought provoking documentary, could not be feel timely."

The New York Times | Brian Siebert
"..no film in the festival is more urgent"

Baltimore County Public School | Maria R., Dance Educator
"The movie viewing [of Uprooted] and discussion to follow got me thinking even more about cultural relevance and how to teach with intention and attention to this very critical need of our students."

Best of Fest Feature | Dance on Camera Film Festival
Best of Fest Feature Audience Award |
San Francisco Dance Film Festival
Best Musical Documentary Award |
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Best Documentary Award |
Pan African Film Festival
Best Documentary Award |
The Micheaux Film Festival
Best Documentary Award |
Black Star International Film Festival
Audience Choice Feature Film Award |
Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival
Festival Winner and Audience Choice Award |
Skyline Indie Film Festival
Audience Choice |
Best Editing Award |
SCAD Savannah Film Festival
Best Cinematography Award |
Columbia Film Festival
Best of Fest Award |
Columbia Film Festival
Audience Choice Award |
Idaho Screendance Festival
Ronzo Winner |
Oxford Film Festival
Best Documentary in Music and Dance |
Master of Art Film Festival (Bulgaria)
Best Documentary Award |
New Hope Film Festival
Nominated for Best Documentary |
Raindance Film Festival

BlackStar Film Festival
Bronze Lens Film Festival
Calgary Black Film Festival
Toronto Black Film Festival
Charlotte Film Festival
Hamptons Doc Fest
Hot Springs Documentary Festival
Bentonville Film Festival
LakeFront Film Festival
Montreal Black Film Festival
National Black Film Festival
Queens World Film Festival
Portland Dance Film Festival
Bushwick Film Festival
Sedona International Film Festival
San Souci Film Festival
Sound Unseen Festival
Twin Cities Film Festival
On Art Film Festival

The Uprooted lesson guides for high school dance curriculum are available upon purchase. The guides consist of four parts, each with both a lesson guide and a PowerPoint.

Part A - Origins
Lesson Guide

Part B - Rhythm and Syncopation
Lesson Guide

Part C - Codification
Lesson Guide

Part D - Education & Dialogue
Lesson Guide