• Katherine Dunham Technique and Philosophy: A Holistic Dance Pedagogy

      Suarez, Juanita; Christie Gonzalez, Molly E.; The College at Brockport (2015-05-16)
      Artist/scholar/educator Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) focused her life’s work on finding ways to educate people about themselves and each other, through a pedagogy that emphasized an integration of the thinking mind, emotional self and expressive physical body.Over her lifetime as an educator, anthropologist, performer, choreographer, writer, activist, and humanist, she developed and enacted a holistic model of pedagogy that remains an exemplary model in the field of education. The Dunham Pedagogy promotes intercultural awareness and understanding, social skills development, artistic training, and encourages scholarly pursuit, through its foundation in the Dunham Philosophies of Form and Function, Intercultural Communication and Socialization Through the Arts. This thesis will trace Dunham’s dual training in dance and anthropology and the intertwined development of the Dunham Technique, Philosophies, and Pedagogy. It will explore the underlying values and aesthetics present in the physical Technique, the cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary curriculum within Dunham schools, the role and practice of a teacher within a Dunham classroom, and the process of Dunham Teacher Certification.
    • Katherine Dunham’s Methodologies of Form and Function, Intercultural Communication and Socialization Through the Arts, as a Choreographic Model

      Prioleau, Darwin; Christie Gonzalez, Molly E.; The College at Brockport (2008-08-01)
      Katherine Dunham 1909-2006, developed three primary philosophical methodologies: Form and Function, Intercultural Communication and Socialization Through the Arts, which were integrated within her anthropological research and academic writing, choreographic process and product, physical development of the Dunham Technique, establishment of pedagogical models in schools nationally and internationally, and in her humanistic vision and activist actions. Within this thesis I trace the origins of Dunham’s three primary philosophies and their utilization within her choreographic process and product. I outline a Dunham Model of Choreography whose effectiveness I examine through its application within the creation, performance and evaluation process of my creative choreographic project, Aché Essence. Because my creative project explored the embodiment and transformation of encoded ritual movement and rhythmic languages from two sacred dance and music traditions as they transition from their original functions and settings to the concert dance stage and are translated within and communicated through the modern dancing body, I paid particular attention to Ms. Dunham’s translation of sacred and secular dance and music forms of both national and international origin within her choreography.