Choreographer Katherine Dunham dies at 96

Started nation’s first self-supporting all-black modern dance group

The Associated Press
Updated: 12:52 a.m. MT May 22, 2006 @ msnbc.com

NEW YORK - Katherine Dunham, a pioneering dancer and choreographer, author and civil rights activist who left Broadway to teach culture in one of America’s poorest cities, has died. She was 96.

Dunham died Sunday at the Manhattan assisted living facility where she lived, said Charlotte Ottley, executive liaison for the organization that preserves her artistic estate. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Dunham was perhaps best known for bringing African and Caribbean influences to the European-dominated dance world. In the late 1930s, she established the nation’s first self-supporting all-black modern dance group.

Posted by on 05/22 at 11:03 AM
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