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African Dance Katherine Dunham Katherine Dunham is known as of the most influential African American individuals when it come down to the art of African Dance Her unprecedented blend of cultural anthropology with the artistic genre of dance in the eartly 1930s produced ground breaking forms of movement in the United states Dunham established African-American dance as an art in its own Her professionalism lead the way for many other notable African dancers like Alivin Ailey and Aurthur Mitchell Beckford 76 Dunham lived a middle class life in Glen Ellyn Illionois when later a tradject event tore the family apart her mother died and left her brother Albert Jr and herself to their father Albert Dunham Sr Later fiancial obligations lead Albert Sr to sell the familys home and accept a job as a travelling salesman Dunham and her older brother Albert lived with their aunt Lulu and then later stayed with their first cousin Clara Dunham and her seventeen year old daughter Both of the were actresses who lived in an apartment that was also used as a rehearsal studio for black vaudeville shows which they were producing At that young age she was influenced by these talented women in her family and became int interested in the entertainment world She later began to go to local shows and performancesDominy 21 In 1920 Dunham moved out of her house with her step-mother because of the violence and abuse she endured from her father She moved to chicago and started to go to college with the help of her brother Albert Jr Beckford 27 Her interest in dance arose more started when she began taking dance classes and performed in several productions at the Cube Theathere There she was introduced to choreographer Ruth Page and ballet dancers Mark Turbyfill both members of the Chicago Opera Company All three later came together and opened up a dance studio calling their student Ballet Negre
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