Katherine Dunham revolutionized American dance in the 1930’s by going to the roots of black dance and rituals transforming them into significant artistic choreography that speaks to all. She was a pioneer in the use of folk and ethnic choreography and one of the founders of the anthropological dance movement. She showed the world that African American heritage is beautiful. She completed groundbreaking work on Caribbean and Brazilian dance anthropology as a new academic discipline. She is credited for bringing these Caribbean and African influences to a European-dominated dance world.
She returned to the United States informed by new methods of movement and expression. Her presentation included photos, films, writings and her own demonstration which was an innovation in itself. She then created the Dunham Technique that transformed the world of dance.