Catherine Dunham

Katherine Dunham and Company performs West Indian Creole music in form of ballet, at the Cambridge Theatre, London, England, 1952.
copyright British Pathé

The dancer in a trance, the possessed and the zombie—all anthropological figures—quickly found their way into the Hollywood myth factory. Katherine Dunham was an anthropologist and choreographer. She studied dance in Haiti, Martinique, and Jamaica and incorporated these same movements into her own revues. Maya Deren worked as Dunham’s private secretary in the early 1940s.