Dunham's Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry, Repertory, 1937-1962 (ICPSR 38545)

Version Date: Nov 9, 2022 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Harmony Bench, Ohio State University; Kate Elswit, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (Great Britain)

Series:

  • Dunham's Data Series

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR38545.v1

Version V1

The Repertory Dataset is the third public-use dataset in the Dunham's Data series, a unique data collection created by Kate Elswit (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London) and Harmony Bench (The Ohio State University) to explore questions and problems that make the analysis and visualization of data meaningful for dance history through the case study of choreographer Katherine Dunham.

The Repertory Dataset catalogues the various titles and descriptions in Dunham's repertory by which a piece might be known, the years in which it was performed, and all of the singers, dancers, and drummers who were listed as performing in it. The Repertory dataset documents other aspects of each work such as composers of the music, the varying numbers of performers, places of inspiration where available, and whether pieces were performed in concert venues, nightclubs, or both. It also tracks fluid relationships among nearly 300 numbers identified in Dunham's repertory from the 1930s onwards by examining the various scales at which Dunham repurposed choreographic elements over time and for different performance venues, and therefore the alternative ways that works might connect individual performers.

Dunham's Data: Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry is funded by the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC AH/R012989/1, 2018-2022) and is part of a larger suite of ongoing digital collaborations by Bench and Elswit, Movement on the Move. The Dunham's Data team also includes digital humanities postdoctoral research assistant Antonio Jiménez-Mavillard and dance history postdoctoral research assistants Takiyah Nur Amin and Tia-Monique Uzor.

Bench, Harmony, and Elswit, Kate. Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry, Repertory, 1937-1962. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-11-09. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR38545.v1

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Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) (AH/R012989/1), Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs Endowment (BETHA) and The Ohio State University

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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1937 -- 1962
For further information, please see the Dunham's Data website. To view the interactive visualizations, please visit the Dunham's Data research blog.
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The purpose of this study is to explore the kinds of questions and problems that make the analysis and visualization of data meaningful for dance history. Using digital research methods and data visualization in the context of dance history can catalyze a better understanding of how dance movements over time.

This dataset was created and audited as follows: The initial 1947-60 repertory dataset was built alongside the Everyday Itinerary and Personnel datasets, with the structure emerging through the process. The resulting structure was built a dataset from scratch using the same archival information. Further nuance was added to the data structure as part of this second iteration. Then the information from both datasets were compared and manually compiled a new, third dataset that reconciled the two. This reconciled dataset was subsequently expanded to include repertory material from 1937-1962, alongside an expanded draft of the Personnel Check-Ins. Finally, it's then conducted a second process of auditing by programmatically extracting every archival reference present in the dataset into a list and then manually confirming the data against the archival material.

Longitudinal
observational data

For the description of variables, please see the User Guide.

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2022-11-09

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Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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