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  • Katherine Dunham – Carnival of Rhythm

    Katherine Dunham – Carnival of Rhythm

    A musical tribute to Brazil’s workers, Carnival of Rhythm was Katherine Dunham’s first film. Released in 1941 it was romantic, “colorful”, playful, flirtatious, yet choreographically simple. Early in her career Dunham did field research in anthropology and dance which proved that African-American and African-Caribbean shared many commonalities and are indeed part of the fabric of American dance. (In fact, The Dances of Haiti was her master’s thesis.) These styles she incorporated into classical ballet and modern dance. It was also […]

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  • Katherine Dunham on “Shango”

    Katherine Dunham on “Shango”

    Not only was Dunham an innovator in African-American modern dance, but she was also influential as a dance anthropologist. Listen to Katherine Dunham tell us about Shango, one of the African gods that was part of the African Diaspora. Accordingly to Dunham, Shango was probably the strongest of the African gods. Capable of bringing about good or evil, Shango was worshipped throughout the Caribbean and South America. I hope you enjoyed this video of Katherine Dunham and that you’re inspired […]

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  • Katherine Dunham – Stormy Weather

    Katherine Dunham – Stormy Weather

    Katherine Dunham was likely the most instrumental dancer and choreographer in bringing awareness of African cultures to the forefront of our consciousness through dance. Not surprisingly, we see a blend of African as well as other cultures in Dunham’s choreography. In Stormy Weather, the musical based on the life of its star, dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Dunham and her dancers are seen on a rainy city street moving and dancing in a manner suggestive of black social dancing. The scene […]

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