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A Celebration of Dancer Doug Crutchfield: Screening and Reflections with Amir George and Dr. Davia Crutchfield



Special exhibition Nordic Utopia? African Americans in the 20th Century illuminates the untold story of African American visual and performing artists, such as legendary dancer and choreographer Doug Crutchfield. Join us for a screening of Dancing Prophet (1971) followed by An Encomium for Doug Crutchfield, a short directed by Amir George. Dr. Ethelene Whitmire will moderate a conversation with Amir George and Dr. Davia Crutchfield, Doug's great-niece.

About Dancing Prophet (1971)

Bruce Baker’s documentary Dancing Prophet presents the personal mission of Cincinnati-born Doug Crutchfield (1938 – 1989), who performed and taught dance in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Lund, Sweden, for twenty-four years. 

“When I was a teenager, I always felt like a lion in a cage,” Crutchfield comments, revealing the feelings that catalyzed his search for creative freedom in the Nordics. Crutchfield’s father, a Baptist minister, shares his unfulfilled desire to see Douglas follow in his footsteps, yet he ultimately expresses acceptance of the chosen path. The film’s title alludes to Crutchfield’s vision— “the dancing spirit of humanity.”

After Crutchfield’s extended residency in Copenhagen, he returned to Cincinnati in 1986. On his headstone, the moniker “Dancing Prophet” was inscribed along with a dedication from his “Scandinavian Friends.”

About An Encomium for Doug Crutchfield

Amir George's short film is a posthumous homage to the legacy of dancer Doug Crutchfield, featuring Doug's family as they recount memories and contemplate his magic and the life he lived.


  • Amir George_cropped

    Amir George

    Amir George creates spiritual stories, juxtaposing sound and image with a non-linear perception. He creates fragmented vignettes that conjure the secret life of objects both found and collected.

  • Davia Crutchfield

    Dr. Davia Crutchfield

    Davia J. Crutchfield, Ph. D. has over a decade of experience as a creative strategist, communications specialist, and writer. She combines her skills as a cultural researcher and writer with her passion for art and storytelling.

  • Ethelene Whitmire

    Dr. Ethelene Whitmire

    Ethelene Whitmire is the Chair and a Professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.