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In this lecture demonstration, participants will learn about the history of Katherine Dunham, as well as her teaching methodology and her dance technique of using bodies to tell stories.  Revolutionising American dance, Dunham created a technique based on integrating traditional African, Caribbean and African Diasporic movement styles with modern dance, resulting in the creation of Black Concert Dance.  The workshop content will explore the impact of Dunham’s dance technique on her students as they endeavor to teach and promote the rich history of her dance research.  In addition to focusing on Dunham, this workshop will focus on one of her preeminent students, Dr Charles “Baba Chuck” Davis, the late founder of DanceAfrica who expanded the application of Ms. Dunham’s technique by teaching with an emphasis on the concept of “I am you and you are me.” This simple saying that is the organising principle of Ubuntu will also be explored as it appears both in the cultural form of African Diasporic dances and in the bodies of the dancers. An introduction into the educational concept of “culturally relevant pedagogy” and Ubuntu will be addressed in detail as they are both pertinent and relevant to the philosophy of Ubuntu and the continuation of African Diasporic dances.  This lecture demonstration will show that far from being broken African Diasporic dance contain elements of Ubuntu and culturally relevant philosophy, concepts that are essential to maintaining a wholesome African Diasporic identity.  It is my hope that participants will come away with the knowledge that Ms. Dunham’s technique is not only an appropriate foundation for teaching of African-diasporic dance and performance, but that it is also an essential teaching and educational foundation for demonstrating the resilience and creativity of African-descended people through dance.
Patricia Dye is a dance historian and writer with over a decade of experience in the field. She has published extensively on African American dance, and her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and anthologies. Dye is also a sought-after speaker and has presented her research at conferences and universities around the world. She currently serves as the Director of Education at PAKA Inc.


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4 May
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage
0116 482 1394
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Dialogue Box – Serendipity Institute for Black Arts and Heritage
21 Bowling Green Street
Leicester, LE1 6AS
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0116 482 1394
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