Why is Katherine Dunham dance important?

Katherine Dunham (1909–2006) brought African dance aesthetics to the United States, forever influencing modern and jazz dance. She was instrumental in getting respect for Black dancers on the concert dance stage and directed the first self-supported Black dance company.

How did Katherine Dunham influence dance?

Katherine Dunham Helped Teach the World to Dance Katherine Dunham introduced African and Caribbean rhythms to modern dance. The schools she created helped train such notables as Alvin Ailey and Jerome Robbins in the “Dunham technique.” Death came for Dunham this week. She was 96.

What was Katherine Dunham philosophy?

The philosophy behind the Katherine Dunham Technique, based in the integration of my mind, body, and sprit, became a tool to see if the arts could make a difference in people’s lives, and the Performing Arts Training Center (PATC) was born in the mid-60s in East St. Louis after disbanding her dance company.

What did Katherine Dunham choreography?

Called the “Matriarch of Black Dance,” her groundbreaking repertoire combined innovative interpretations of Caribbean dances, traditional ballet, African rituals and African American rhythms to create the Dunham Technique, which she performed with her dance troupe in venues around the world.

What is Katherine Dunham remembered for?

Born in 1909 in Chicago, Katherine Dunham is an American dancer-choreographer who is best known for incorporating African American, Caribbean, African, and South American movement styles and themes into her ballets.

How did Katherine Dunham become a choreographer?

Dunham early became interested in dance. While a student at the University of Chicago, she formed a dance group that performed in concert at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1934 and with the Chicago Civic Opera company in 1935–36.

How did jazz dance evolve?

After so long enslaved in foreign lands, many Africans lost their tribal traditions and became intermingled with other tribes and European groups. This mixing of cultures spawned a style of dance that eventually became jazz.

Who invented jazz music?

In the late 1890s, syncopation joined with soulful melodies, upbeat dance tunes united with the sultry sound of brass instruments, and jazz began to emerge. Buddy Bolden, an African-American bandleader called “the first man of jazz” by historian Donald M Marquis, was at the forefront of the jazz movement.


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