Dunham’s Data is a three year project (2018-2021) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC AH/R012989/1), under the direction of Kate Elswit (PI, University of London, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and Harmony Bench (CI, The Ohio State University). Through this project, we explore the kinds of questions and problems that make the analysis and visualization of data meaningful for dance history. We do so through the case study of choreographer Katherine Dunham, manually cataloguing a daily itinerary of Dunham’s touring and travel from the 1930s-60s, the dancers, drummers, and singers in her employ during that time, and the repertory they performed. These curated datasets provide new means to understand the relationships between thousands of locations, and hundreds of performers and pieces across the decades of Dunham's career, and ultimately elaborate how movement moves. The core project team is joined by UK industry partners One Dance UK’s Dance of the African Diaspora and the Victoria & Albert Museum, as well as international knowledge exchange partnerships with digital projects at Ohio State (US), Ludwig Maximilians Universität Munich (Germany), and the University of New South Wales (Australia).

Visit the research blog for our current work in progress.