Katherine Dunham

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Katherine Dunham is known as being the most influential pioneer in black dance. Her genius of combining African American and African Caribbean styles and creating the well-known Dunham Technique are still powerful components of dance in America today. In the 1940s, the Katherine Dunham Dance Company appeared on Broadway and toured throughout the United States, Mexico, Latin America, and especially Europe, to enthusiastic reviews. Dunham was praised as a dancer and choreographer, recognized as a serious anthropologist and scholar, and admired as a glamorous beauty. Dunham received numerous prestigious awards and appeared in nine Hollywood movies and in several foreign films between 1941 and 1959.