Sundance: Maya Angelou Documentary Pays Tribute to 1950s 'Miss Calypso' (Exclusive Video)

"Very tall, very grand -- no shoes."

Maya Angelou -- writer, poet, activist, yes.

But first, she was Miss Calypso.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise -- the first feature documentary about the icon, who died in 2014 at age 86 -- explores her many endeavors, including her heyday performing the popular Afro-Caribbean music off-Broadway and in the 1957 film Calypso Heat Wave. Her "grand" and "refined" presence, as described in the first clip from the film, is also captured on her first and only music album.

"Most people know of Maya Angelou as an incredible poet and writer, but this clip shows a lesser-known part of her life," said co-directors Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn-Whack (who was Angelou’s radio producer and is making her directorial debut). "But here she is, shown in the mid-'50s performing as a calypso singer and dancer."

The doc, which includes Reuben Cannon and Marquetta Glass as producers, features extensive interviews with Angelou, as well as appearances by President Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Cicely Tyson, Common and Lou Gossett, Jr., among others. It will make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and air on PBS’s American Masters.

Twitter: @cashleelee

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