BAM Affiliation Pearl Primus created dances born of methodical academic research and activism blending numerous choreographic styles. She was also a mind-blowing performer. In 1948, Primus' first program at BAM included Strange Fruit (1945), based on the poem by Abel Meeropol (publishing as Lewis Allan) about a lynching. Primus studied and eventually taught at the New Dance Group, which proclaimed, "Dance is a Weapon of the Class Struggle." Pearl Primus- who performed, lectured, and even wrote program notes at BAM-was a respected DanceAfrica elder.