Master Juba

Circa: October 1848

African American dancer and performer Master Juba (sometimes known as ‘Boz’s Juba’) performed at the Theatre in October 1848, soon after his arrival in England. 

Juba’s birth and death dates are unknown; even his birth name - possibly William Henry Lane – is uncertain. However, Juba’s reputation and profound influence on dance endure even today. 

Some have argued his dance-style was an authentic depiction of the dances performed on southern plantations. Others claim Juba invented tap dancing. 

Certainly, this Theatre playbill asks audience members to "keep as quiet as possible during Mater Juba’s dances" so "they will hear the exact time he keeps with his extraordinary steps".