Katherine Dunham

Katherine Dunham and Company performs West Indian Creole music in form of ballet, at the Cambridge Theatre, London, England, 1952.
copyright British Pathé

Anthropology moves in spaces of experience that lie beyond Western norms . That is why there have always been intersections between the artistic avant-garde, which goes against the cultural standards of its time, and anthropological research. Katherine Dunham visited Haiti as an anthropologist and choreographer. She studied dance forms and elements of religious ceremonies (including trance and possession), but also used this study material for her own artistic productions, which included choreography in Hollywood films. Maya Deren worked for Dunham in the early 1940s and received critical impulses from her.