Selections from the Katherine Dunham Collection
Articles and Essays
Katherine Dunham Timeline
1909 Katherine Mary Dunham is born on 22 June 1909 in a Chicago hospital. Her father, Albert Millard Dunham, is black; her mother, Fanny June Dunham, is a woman of French-Canadian and American Indian heritage. Shortly after her birth, her parents take the infant Katherine to their home in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a village about fifteen miles west of Chicago. She spends her early...
Notes on Dunham's Work
L'Ag'Ya. Katherine Dunham in the ballet "L'Ag'Ya", which premiered in 1938. Courtesy of the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis. Katherine Dunham's first full-length ballet debuted at the Federal Theater in Chicago on 27 January 1938. It was inspired by an event during her Caribbean field trip in 1935-1936 when she witnessed and filmed the ag'ya, the fighting dance of Martinique. Dunham herself devised the...