This workshop is an introduction to Dunham Technique, a fusion of modern dance and Afro-Caribbean techniques. It was created in the 1940’s by legendary black dancer, anthropologist and social activist, Katherine Dunham.
The technique combines classical ballet lines and isolations from African-centred dances. It utilises an exciting range of tempos and often overlays multiple complex rhythms, with live Djembe drumming. Over the weekend you will learn the foundations of this unique technique and choreography from Dunham’s wide repertoire. The class begins with exercises designed to awaken bodily awareness and alignment. You will gradually build towards isolations, flowing travelling sequences and jumps.
This workshop is for experienced dancers of all techniques and styles, including but not limited to traditional African, contemporary, hip hop, jazz and house. Limited places – don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to work with a member of the original Katherine Dunham Company.
“Really, the three most important things to bring to a Dunham class are an open mind, body and spirit.” Dr. Albirda Rose, Director of the Dunham Technique Certification Board.
This is a project initiated by Chisenhale Dance Member, Angela Andrew, as part of Radical Integration, a project supported through Collaborations Between Generations Commissions.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) was an African American dancer, choreographer, author, educator, and social activist. Dunham had one of the most successful dance careers in African American and European theatre of the 20th century and for almost 30 years she maintained the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, the only self-supported American black dance troupe at that time. Over her long career she choreographed more than ninety individual dances. She has been called the “matriarch and queen mother of black dance.”
Othella Dallas*, (b. 1925) is a carrier of an academic and corporal knowledge of the integration of African centred dances. At the age of 19 she was discovered by the legendary Katherine Dunham and during the early 1940’s became principle dancer at the Katherine Dunham Company. Then in 1950 she began a singing career and soon after shared the stage with Jazz legends like Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton or Quincy Jones.
*Full name: Othella Talmadge Strozier Wydler, and often known as Othella Strozier in dance circles.