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Jeni LeGon - Living in a Great Big Way

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Meet Jeni LeGon--a talented and passionate dancer who became the first Black woman to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio. A warm and vibrant storyteller, she reflects on her 82 years of life, sharing her dreams and struggles. Jeni grew up in Chicago, where she taught herself to dance, gathering her early audiences around her on the sidewalks that were her first stage. She becme a solo dancer in the Count Basie Chorus Line and set her sights for Hollywood. There she landed a role with Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson in Hurray for Love, followed by over a dozen other films. But with all her talent, Jeni LeGon could not break through the colour barrier of a segregated Hollywood.

In the late 1960s, Jeni made Vancouver her home and became a teacher and choreographer. The film includes interviews with tap dancer Fayard Nicholas and archival footage of Fayard and Harold Nicholas, Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, Fats Waller, Paul Robeson and Cab Calloway.



1999, 49 min 28 s

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Bronze Plaque Award - Category: Arts and Culture
International Film and Video Festival
October 25 to 27 2000, Columbus - USA

Canada's Choice Award - Category: Best Short Documentary
Moving Pictures
April 1 to November 1 2000, Toronto - Canada

Michael Blaustein Biography Award
National Black Programming Consortium
October 23 1999, Columbus - USA

Special Mention
International Film Festival
September 24 to October 10 1999, Vancouver - Canada

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