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Collection Selections from the Katherine Dunham Collection


Silvana Mangano and Katherine Dunham in the 1955 Paramount Pictures production of "Mambo." Courtesy of Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis.

In 1954 Katherine Dunham and her company were in the cast of Mambo, an Italian-American film produced by Carlo Ponti and Dino de Laurentiis for Teatri della Farnesina, Rome, and Paramount Pictures, Hollywood. Directed by Robert Rossen, it has original music by Dave Gilbert, Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, Bernardo Noriega, and Nino Rota. The principal players are Silvana Mangano, Michael Rennie, Vittorio Gassman, and Shelley Winters. Katherine Dunham appears as a dance teacher. The film includes exclusive and rare footage of the Dunham Company in classroom demonstrations of Dunham Technique. Five numbers were choreographed expressly for the film: Coboclo do Mato (sung and danced by Dunham); Baiao (never performed on stage); Sube Espuma (danced by Dunham and later performed on stage in a different version); New Love, New Wine; and Mambo (performed on stage in a different version under the title Mambo Finale). The film was released in the United States in 1955.

Related digital items: Browse "Mambo"

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