Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance

laurels icon Best Documentary Feature Nominee
  • Arty, Discovery
  • 1h 34m
  • Documentary Feature
  • International Premiere
  • 2020

This film is no longer available. To view the Q&A with filmmakers, please click here.

The story of jazz dance is complex and goes to the very heart of humanity. This is a story of oppression, privilege and triumph over adversity. The film is also a celebration. Ultimately, what all people have in common is rhythm and a basic human need to get down.

Khadifa Wong studied dance in London and acting in New York. She has created a web series, directed The Woman Who Knocked On My Door (Best Indie Short, LA Film Awards) and has executive produced three award-winning short films. Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance is her first feature film.

Film Review: Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance is a fascinating cultural and historical exploration of a hugely influential art form, one which has fused dance traditions from across the globe throughout several centuries. The connection between the historical journey of Black America and the emotions communicated through jazz dance are illustrated clearly and engagingly. This is a passionate and persuasive call for creatives to not simply appropriate but to educate themselves on the true pioneers and innovators who came before - a call that reaches well beyond dance. For dance enthusiasts and for those with no connection to the medium, this film will prove enjoyable and educational. Director Khadifa Wong, whose short The Woman Who Knocked On My Door won the 2017 Jury Prize at the Los Angeles Film Awards, does an exquisite job of weaving beautiful dance work with detailed testimonials from the heavyweights of the jazz dance world. Interviews with the likes of Debbie Allen, Craig Revel Horwood, Arlene Phillips and Bonnie Langford offer some priceless insights. Ultimately, what we are left with is the feeling that, despite the dismissal and cultural snobbery that jazz dance has been subjected to within the dance world, it will always be with us. Jazz will be forever evolving, influencing and offering inspiration. Lucie Phillips-Browne


LDR Creative LLC



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Khadifa Wong

Executive Producer

Vibecke Dahle

Executive Producer

Dan Kopp

Director of Photography

Matt Simpkins


Jeff Parker


Max Cyrus