Theses Bachelor's

Anthropology as Choreography: Katherine Dunham's Creolized Approach to Choreography

Bottjer, Kendall

I argue that through using an anthropological perspective, Dunham introduced classical ballet to Afro-Caribbean movement to create a dynamic, modern choreographic body of work. Even from a position such as a front attitude, one can see the way that Dunham used a position that almost exclusively exists within the classical ballet canon in order to communicate a work rooted in her ethnographic recordings of traditional Martinican movement. Thus classical ballet became not an oppositional form but an empowering technique for Dunham. Through thinking across and with cultures, Dunham created choreography that represented a creolized approach to dance, reflecting her training in anthropology and her personal experiences.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Dance (Barnard College)
Thesis Advisors
Scolieri, Paul Anthony
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
February 13, 2023