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Kaiso!: Writings by and about Katherine Dunham
     

Kaiso!: Writings by and about Katherine Dunham

by Veve A. Clark, Sara E. Johnson (Editor)
 

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“Kaiso,” a term of praise that is the calypso equivalent of “bravo,” is a fitting title for this definitive and celebratory collection of writings by and about Katherine Dunham, the legendary African American dancer, choreographer, anthropologist, and social activist. Originally produced in the 1970s, this is a newly revised and much

Overview

“Kaiso,” a term of praise that is the calypso equivalent of “bravo,” is a fitting title for this definitive and celebratory collection of writings by and about Katherine Dunham, the legendary African American dancer, choreographer, anthropologist, and social activist. Originally produced in the 1970s, this is a newly revised and much expanded edition that includes recent scholarly articles, Dunham’s essays on dance and anthropology, press reviews, interviews, and chapters from Dunham’s unpublished volume of memoirs, “Minefields.” With nearly a hundred selections by dozens of authors, Kaiso! provides invaluable insight into the life and work of this pioneering anthropologist and performer and is certain to become an essential resource for scholars and general readers interested in social anthropology, dance history, African American studies, or Katherine Dunham herself.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The revision of Kaiso!, a unique compendium devoted to the work of Katherine Dunham, fills a significant lacuna in dance scholarship by providing a multifaceted portrait of a major figure in American and world dance.”—Richard A. Long, author of The Black Tradition in American Dance 

Kaiso! will stand alone as a document of Dunham’s achievements over many years.”—Thomas F. DeFrantz, editor of Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance

Publishers Weekly
Katherine Dunham, a legendary artist at 96, has traveled the world as a dancer, founded several dance companies and schools, pioneered the discipline of dance anthropology, developed a unique movement technique, fought segregation, and written short stories and nonfiction. The many facets of her creative life are illuminated in this anthology of essays, interviews, programs, reviews, photographs, short stories and autobiographical material. Some of the most compelling entries are written by Dunham herself, including excerpts from her unpublished memoir, "Minefields," which describes her development as an artist and her struggles against racism, poverty and debilitating arthritis. As glamorous as she was talented, Dunham rubbed shoulders with Igor Stravinsky, George Balanchine (in the groundbreaking Broadway musical Cabin in the Sky) and Langston Hughes, yet was equally enthralled by the Afro-Caribbean dancers she studied. The myriad achievements of Dunham, whose dance company was one of the first African-American troupes to tour internationally, and the efforts to preserve her legacy are examined by an illustrious list of dancers, critics and scholars. Clark and Johnson, both academics at the University of California, have assembled an informative and entertaining resource. (Mar. 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299212742
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
01/27/2006
Series:
Studies in Dance History Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
718
Sales rank:
1,112,944
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

    VèVè A. Clark (1944-2007) was associate professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Sara E. Johnson is assistant professor of comparative literature at the University of California, San Diego.
    Katherine Dunham numbers among the most influential dance artists and scholars of the twentieth century. Trained as an anthropologist at the University of Chicago, she combined her interest in dance and anthropology by linking the form and function of Caribbean dance and ritual to their African sources. Her research provided the core for what would become known as the Katherine Dunham Technique of dance, which integrated African and Caribbean styles of movement with ballet and modern dance. Dunham’s career as a dancer and choreographer encompassed Broadway revues, appearances in several films, and choreography for the New York Metropolitan Opera. Also a recognized social activist, she staged several highly publicized hunger strikes and often incorporated speeches against discrimination into her stage performances.

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