We kick off our Movers, Shakers & Groundbreakers Initiative with dancer, choreographer and anthropologist Katherine Dunham for her indelible contributions to dance and her connection to our founder,

Gus Giordano.  Ms. Dunham had been one of Gus’ mentors, and her sophisticated and elegant use of gravity, rhythm and form clearly influenced the development of the Giordano Technique.

"Katherine Dunham revolutionized American dance in the 1930's by going to the roots of black dance and rituals transforming them into significant artistic choreography that speaks to all. She was a pioneer in the use of folk and ethnic choreography and one of the founders of the anthropological dance movement. She showed the world that African American heritage is beautiful. She completed groundbreaking work on Caribbean and Brazilian dance anthropology as a new academic discipline. She is credited for bringing these Caribbean and African influences to a European-dominated dance world."

-Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities



Photo: New York Public Library Digital Collection

Katherine Dunham and her Company

in "Stormy Weather" (1943)