Anthropologist, Ethnologue, Choreographer, Dancer, creator of the Dunham Technique, author, Scholar, activist and humanist
Katherine DunhamLegendary dancer, choreographer and anthropologist, Katherine Dunham was born on June 22,1909 in Chicago, to an African American father and a French Canadian mother. She sang in her local Methodist Church in Joliet; but for a financial crisis at her church, she might never have sung anything but gospel songs. At age eight, she amazed and scandalized the elders of her church by doing a performance of decidedly non-religious songs at a cabaret party, in order to raise money. She never thought about a career in dance. Instead, she consented to her family's wish that she become a teacher and followed her brother, Albert Dunham Jr. to the University of Chicago, where she became one of the first African American women to attend this University and earned bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees in anthropology.
At the same time she became a student of Ludmilla Speranzeva, formerly of the Moscow Theater, Mark Turbyfill and Ruth Page. Following graduation, she f...