Katherine Dunham Company
The Katherine Dunham Company, a troupe of dancers, singers, actors and musicians, was the first African American modern dance company. It descended from Ballet Negre, a student troupe founded by Katherine Dunham, which later became the Negro Dance Troupe.
The company had successful runs on Broadway and in other major American cities. Beginning in the 1940s Dunham took her troupe on a series of highly acclaimed world tours. Her performance with her group at the Windsor Theatre may very well be an historic occasion, for certainly never before in all efforts of recent years to establish the Negro dance as a serious medium. The Dunham Company helped launch the career of many African American performers of the day. Dunham alumni include Alvin Ailey, Rosalie King, Eartha Kitt and Walter Nicks. Today you can find classes in Dunham Technique taught in New York City at both the 92nd Street YMHA and at the Fashion Institute of Technology, by former company member Dana McBroom-Manno. McBroom-Manno was a featured dancer in the Metropolitan Opera's production of "AIDA", choreographed by Katherine Dunham, the first African American choreographer at the Met since Hemsley Winfield set the dances for The Emperor Jones in 1933..
Successful reviews included the universally acclaimed Bal Negre (1946).
- Katherine Dunham speaking about having to overcome 1940's racism at a June 6, 2002 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival PillowTalk.
- Katherine Dunham timeline - includes information about the development of her company
- Katherine Dunham IMDb entry - includes a list of films in which she appeared, choreographed and/or her Company appeared
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