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Miss Dunham is Sensation in Haitian Dances
Miss Dunham is Sensation in Haitian Dances
TitleMiss Dunham is Sensation in Haitian Dances
CreatorBarry, Edward
DescriptionReview of recital sponsored by the medical bureau of the American Friends of Spanish Democracy to benefit child victims of the Spanish Civil War in which Dunham's troupe was sensational
CollectionSCRC Text (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
SubcollectionKatherine Dunham Papers
Original Publication SourceChicago Daily Tribune
Place WrittenChicago, IL
Subjects -peopleAllis, Frances ; Dunham, Katherine ; Huebert, Diana ; Van Tuyl, Marian
Collection ID/Box#FP20_7_F1DUNHAM_B102_F03_03
Rights StatementFor permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email:
TranscriptMiss Dunham nsation in Haitian Dances
Is Se
BY EDWARD BARRY, Few daijce recitals axe punctuated with applause as loud and enthusias¬ tic as that which lang through ihe Goodman theater again and again last night. FrancGE Allis, Katherine Dun- hanij Diana Humbert, and Marian Van Tuyl had pooled their resources for an elaborate program sponsored by the medical bureau of the American Friends of Spanish Democracy and designed to raise badly needed funds for child victims of the civil war.
The chance to see rn onp evcnmg such an unusual follection of dancers and to part with a Uttie money for the cause drew to the theater a large audience which missed never an op¬ portunity Io give audible testimony of its approval.
The success of Katherine Dunham and lier group approached the sensa¬ tional. She is the young colored woman who went to Haiti on a Ros¬ enwald travel fellowship to study and collect the native dances of the island- These dances are of such a singular¬ ity ejiolic character and were so su¬ perlatively well executed last night that they constituted for the majority of the audience nothing iess than a revelation.
In the Haitian ceremonial dances Miss Dunham demonstrates the emo¬ tional potency of sheer monotony in a most remarkable manner. There is an uncanny impression, when the cur¬ tain closes, that the dance and the steady rhythm of drums are still con- tinufns: and that they will continue forever and ever.
Getting more metaphysical still, it seemed that the impassive faces and motions of the dancers provided a more vivid descnption than words ever could of the very essence of mysterious primitive humanity^ In this impassivity and this monotony lay something volcanic, a suggestion of Immense power and darkly real' ized forces.
Abandoning the Haitian scene for the island o-f the lotus eaters and rude jungle rhythms for the highly civilised music of Debussy, Miss Dun' bam and her group managed here also to make vistas seem Io open out of vistas. Their projection of the dim languor of the piet'e was a re¬ markable piece of work.
Preceding all this, Frances Altis succeeded all by herself in holding the interest ^nd arousing the enthus¬ iasm of the audience in a cycle called Trilogy of the Soil, She has a great genius for looking epic—a nobility about her movements and a sure- ness in her technique |hat permitted her 10 discharge competently the heavy taaJt that such a^thmiie Imniiiii*^
that of expressing in terms of the dance, man's immemorial reactions to the miracle of earth's cycles and the emotions which are insepajable from the idea of eternal renewal.
Miss Huebert and Miss Van Tuyl, whose part of the program fell very late in the evening, may rejoice in the fact that a morning paper re- porfer refuses to wax metaphysical iTser something which he did not see. * ^
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Original Formatreview
Original dimensions (cm.)29 x 6
Digital Object TypeImage
Digital File Format.tif
Digital File PublisherSpecial Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
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