Halifu Osumare - Meditation on Memory in African Diasporic Dance and its Transmission in the Touring Katherine Dunham Dance Company

As part of this project, we invite expert users from different domains to engage with our work in progress and also connect it to their own ongoing thinking. We’re so pleased to be able to share this video lecture by Dr. Halifu Osumare, scholar of Black popular culture, former director of the Institute for Dunham Technique Certification, and winner of Dance Studies Association’s 2020 Distinction in Dance award. 

For DSA’s annual conference in 2020, Harmony, Kate and Tia-Monique had proposed a panel together with Halifu Osumare and Susan Manning to discuss Dunham’s Data in the context of further research on transnational dance history and choreographer Katherine Dunham’s global legacy. While the conference was cancelled due to COVID, Halifu engaged with the project as planned in various ways, including giving us feedback on an essay manuscript about the interconnections between the places to which Dunham traveled between 1947-60, the dynamic movement community of performers who travelled with her, and the shifting configurations of pieces they performed. Following on these conversations, she recorded this presentation initially planned for DSA: “Meditation on Memory in African Diasporic Dance and Its Transmission in the Touring Katherine Dunham Dance Company.” 

See also Dr. Halifu Osumare’s video on “Katherine Dunham as an African American Choreographer in the Pre-Civil Rights Colonial Era” on our Resources page.