Dunham’s Data – A Unique Fragment of Dance History and Movement



NADAC is excited to announce the release of Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham & Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry, Everyday Itinerary, 1950-53The dataset is a daily itinerary of the choreographer Katherine Dunham’s touring and travel from the 1930s-60s, the dancers, drummers, and singers in her employ during that time, and the repertory they performed. The existing and forthcoming datasets of the project provide new means to understand the relationships between thousands of locations, and hundreds of performers and pieces across the decades of Dunham's career, and ultimately elaborate how movement moves. This first release is a manually cataloged daily itinerary of Dunham’s touring & travel, with 134 trips to 83 cities in 26 countries between 1950-53.

Dunham’s Data: Katherine Dunham and Digital Methods for Dance Historical Inquiry came to NADAC from a three year project (2018-2021) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC AH/R012989/1) and led by Kate Elswit (PI, University of London, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and Harmony Bench (CI, The Ohio State University). The project uses Dunham’s Data as a case study to investigate the use of data analysis in dance history and to explore the original dance history problems and questions using innovative critical mixed methods approaches such as geographical mapping and network analysis. Check out their research blog to learn more about the Dunham’s Data project.



Spatialized sequence of Dunham’s 1950-53 destinations from MovementOnTheMove on Vimeo.


To learn more about Dunham’s data, please visit the study home page.



Sep 15, 2020

View other headlines