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Museum of the Moving Image Celebrates Katherine Dunham with Free Screening and Town Hall Meeting (New York)

Museum of the Moving Image Celebrates Katherine Dunham with Free Screening and Town Hall Meeting (New York)

The Museum of the Moving Image will celebrate the life and legacy of legendary entertainer Katherine Dunham with a work-in-progress screening of Katherine Dunham: Dancing with Life. The event takes place this Saturday, June 22 and is free and open to the public.

Additional details via the museum website and press release below:

the occasion of the 104th anniversary of Katherine Dunham’s birth,
Museum of the Moving Image will present a work-in-progress screening of a
new documentary about the pioneering modern dancer and choreographer,
by renowned actor and director Terry Carter (Battlestar Galactica, Julia),
and followed by a town-hall discussion about Dunham’s legacy with
Carter and two celebrated Dunham dancers, Julie Belafonte and Dr. Glory
Van Scott. The discussion will be moderated by Warrington Hudlin, a
Museum trustee and former Dunham drummer. The program on Saturday, June 22, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. is part of Changing the Picture,
sponsored by Time Warner, Inc., an ongoing series that celebrates and
explores the work of film and television artists of color who are
bringing diverse voices to the screen.

Free admission. Tickets will be given out first-come,
first-served on the day of the event. Only Museum members may reserve
tickets in advance. Please note that admission to the Museum’s galleries
will also be free all day on June 22.

One of America’s most influential performing artists, Katherine
Dunham introduced African Diaspora dance movements to the American
stage, greatly influencing the character and development of modern
dance. The documentary, Katherine Dunham: Dancing with Life
(2013, 73 mins), by Terry Carter, explores Dunham’s intellectual
curiosity and artistic genius. The film documents Dunham as an
artist/scholar whose anthropological fieldwork shaped her vision as a
choreographer and led to her creating a new dance technique. The
technique is based on a series of physical exercises that enable dancers
to master and execute her complex dance vocabulary. Over time, this set
of exercises evolved into what is today considered an important
methodology of dance: The Dunham Technique. 

Featured are excerpts of recorded performances from the early years of Katherine Dunham’s career, including Carnival of Rhythm (1939), Hollywood’s first Technicolor dance film; The Spirit of Boogie-Woogie, a “soundie” short film of the Dunham dance troupe in action from the late 1930s, and the star-studded motion picture Stormy Weather (1943)
which featured Lena Horne, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and Katherine
Dunham’s remarkable performance with the Dunham company. Included in
this painstakingly researched film are clips that have never been seen in the United States including
rare highlights of the Dunham Company’s European performances from the
1940s, 1950s, and 1960s as well as scenes from the Italian motion
pictures Botta e Riposta (1952) and Mambo (1954), featuring Dunham as actress-dancer-choreographer. In
addition to interviews with dancers and scholars who speak to her great
artistic legacy, the film includes Dunham’s reflection on coping with
the racial bigotry of the times she confronted as she traveled with her
dance company. 

About the filmmaker

Terry Carter is an esteemed black film and television pioneer whose
career as an actor and filmmaker spans 60 years. His television acting
credits include The Phil Silvers Show, Julia, McCloud, and the original series Battlestar Galactica. He starred opposite Pam Grier in the cult classic Foxy Brown. His Emmy nominated documentary, A Duke Named Ellington,
won several international awards and is widely considered to be the
best documentary ever made on the life and art of Duke Ellington. 

About Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image (
advances the public understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of film,
television, and digital media. In its expanded and renovated
facilities—acclaimed for both its accessibility and bold
design—the Museum presents innovative interactive exhibitions;
screenings of significant works; discussion programs featuring actors,
directors, craftspeople, and business leaders; and dynamic education

Press Contact: Tomoko Kawamoto, / 718 777 6830


Hours: WednesdayThursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. SaturdaySunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday except for select holiday openings and special programs.

Film Screenings: Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and as scheduled. Unless otherwise noted, screenings are included with Museum admission.
Museum Admission: Free admission on June 22, 2013.
Otherwise admission is $12.00 adults (18+); $9.00 senior citizens and
students (13+) with ID; $6.00 children ages 3-12. Children under 3 and
Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on
Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Location: 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria.
Subway: M (weekdays only) or R to Steinway Street.  Q (weekdays only) or N to 36 Avenue.
Program Information: Telephone: 718 777 6888; Website:

Membership: 718 777 6877,

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