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Gyrating hips fast feet high stepping and magnificent moves are characteristics that belong to the great African-American dancers of historys past Famus Black Archives Museum has a vast collection of African-American artifacts including a variety of pictures of dazzling African-American dancers These dancers Katherine Dunham Martha Graham and Bill Bo jangles Robinson exemplify black beauty style and grace Katherine Dunham was born in Glen Ellyn Illinois on June 22 1909 to Albert and Fanny Dunham Katherine was a great dance teacher Later in her career she was able to get together her own dance company In February 1940 the Katherine Dunham Dance Company opened at the Windsor Theatre west 48th Street with Dunhams own Tropics and Le Jazz Hot The show was a phenomenal success Following that show many newspaper companies were amazed and wanted to inter view Mrs Dunham Katherine Dunham was indeed on her way to the top From that night her name and her dances took her behind the footlights of the worlds greatest stages Her unique and stylistic perfection were the forces that propelled her toward that magic moment when the dance dancers and cultural story became one Soon after the success and offer came to the Dunhams Dance Company to take part in an all-Negro musical entitled Cabin in the Sky The salary offered of three thousand dollars a week was an amount this company never dreamed of making Dunhams role was Georgia Brown and for the first time she had the opportunity not only to dance but also to sing and act as well Martha Graham was born in a suburb of Pittsburgh Pa She became a leading dancer and choreographer and she also pioneered a movement called Modern Dance Martha Graham defined dance as making the interior landscape and she used the entire body in dance movement to reveal the inner true feeling of the characters she portrayed Her movements were not always pretty because the feelings she
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