Katherine Dunham

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Katherine Dunham

1909 - 2006

Birth

June 22, 1909

Born in Chicago to Albert Milard Dunham, black, and Fanny June Dunham, French-Canadian and American Indian heritage.

Mom Dies

1913

Mom dies. she and her brother are sent to live with their dads sister, Lulu, South of Chicago.

Dad Remarries

1915

Dad marries Annette Poindexter, she and her brother move in with them . Dad begins using physical discipline (abuse) on her and her brother.

Book #1

1921

Her first book she wrote at age twelve, "Come back to Arizona" is appears in W.E.B Du Bois volume two off the "Brownie book".

High School

1922

Joins the Terpsichorean Club in high school. Learns modern dances from history.

Gift Begins

1928

Starts studying ballet with Ludmilla Speranzeva in Chicago.

Junior College

1929

Went to a Junior college in Juliet Illinois. Atteneded a lecture by Robert Redfield at the University of Chicago, who specialized in Indian and African cultures, who influenced her dream.

Just the Beginning

1930

Forms Ballet Negre; one of the first Negro ballet companies in America.

Traveling across the world

1936

Arives in Haiti's. Presents her results in June of 1936 to sponsors at Rosenwald Fund.

Correographer at work

1938

Produces and corregraphs her first full length ballet.

Celebration for work

1940

Collaborates with Balanchine on choreography for dances in the musical play Cabin in the Sky.

First Husband, New Start

1941

Marries Canadian John Pratt , A white costumee designer for her company.

Dancer

1942

Contracted to be a featured dancer in the patriotic film Star Spangled Rhythm.

Ballet Negre's Appearance

1943

Dunham and her company appear in such clubs as Chez Paree in Chicago.

Same School, New Location

1945

The Dunham School in New York moves to 220 West 43rd Street

Big Things

1947

Dunham choreographs the musical play Windy City, which premieres at the Great Northern Theater in Chicago.

Italian Appearance

1949

She and her company appear in the Italian film Botta e risposta

Takes on Katherine Name

1952

The Dunham school in New York is renamed to the "Katherine Dunham school of Cultural Arts".

The Travel

1954 - 1955

Dunham and company tour South America and Europe.

Off to Mexico..

1955

Dunham and company tour Mexico.

Los Angelos Appearance

1955

Duham and company preform in Los Angeles at the Greek Theater.

Off to New Zealand and Austrillia

1956

Dunham and company tour New Zealand and Austrillia.

Off to East Aisa

1958

Dunham and company tour East Asia.

Book #3

1959

Publishes her third book

Director at Work

1965

Directs Albert Husson's musical comedy "Deux Anges Sont Venus and Ciao", Rudi in Rome.

Katherine Meets President

1966

Is invited by President Léopold Senghor to train the National Ballet of Senegal.

grand Officer of Haiti

1968

Dunham is named a grand officier of the Haitian Légion d'Honneur et Merite.

Book #4

1969

Fourth book is published

DDH Award

1971

Recieved the Dance Division Heritage Award from the American Association

Book #5

1974

Fifth book is published : Kasamance: a Fantasy.

Hall of Fame

1974

Is named to the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and in the Entertainment Hall in Fame Foundation

HDA from Atlanta

1977

Dunham recieves an honorary decorate from Atlanta of literature.

AWARDS

1978

Katherine recieves the Dance Pioneer Award from Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

ASM Award

1979

Given the Albert Schweitzer Music Award for contributing to the performing arts, and her dedication to humanitarian work.

NDW Award

1980

Recieves National Dance Week Award from the Dance Concert Society.

Fine Arts Award

1981

Recieves an award of fine arts from Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri.

Retirement Time

1982

Retires from Southern Illinois University.

Honor Award

1983

Recieves honor award from Southern Illinois University for fine arts.

Award from lincoln University

1984

Recieves honorary doctorate of laws from Lincoln University and an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Howard University.

Honor Time

1986

Recieves the Distinguished Service Award from the American Anthropological Association; the Southern Cross, Award of Honor and Merit from the Government of Brazil; the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award; the Medal of Artistic Merit in Dance, given by the International Council on Dance, UNESCO; and the Oral Self-Portrait from the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.

EMAA Award

1987

Recives the Ebony Magazine American Achievement Award in Fine Arts.

Designated by Governments

1988

Designated by the Governments of Haiti and France as an officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in their countries.

Meets President

1989

Dunham is one out of nine awarded for the National Medal of the Arts presentation made by President Bush in the east room of the White house.

More Honarary Awards

1990

Recieves an honarary decorate of humne letters from Spellman college.

Citizen Award

1993

Awarded citizenship by the Government of Haiti.

Artist-In-Residence

1994

Become artist-in-residence and lecturer at the University of Hawaii.

More Honarary Awards...

1995

Recieves an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures

2000

Is named by the Dance Heritage Coalition one of "America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures"

Last honorary Award

2002

Recieves an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Harvard University.

The Honorable Katherine Dunham

2003

Honored with a three-day tribute in New York City with special presentations and performances at Symphony Space on upper Broadway.

Last Days

2006

The famous Katherine Dunham dies.