Review Of "Kaiso!: Writings By And About Katherine Dunham" Edited By V. A. Clark And S. E. Johnson

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The title of this book is completely appropriate, both for its subject--the remarkable African American dancer, anthropologist, choreographer, and activist Katherine Dunham--and for the comprehensive, beautifully presented volume itself. The term kaiso in calypso acknowledges an exceptionally virtuosic display of talent. This book is such a display. Intended to introduce a new generation to Dunham's work, it honors Dunham's contributions via her own writings and the writings of 35 five other artists, critics, and scholars--in total, 100 articles on her life and career. The editors divide these writings into five thematic sections that explore the development of her physical, political, and spiritual aesthetic: "Autobiographical Reflections," "Dunham the Woman: Scholar Artist Activist," "Stories and Poems," "Dunham Technique," and "Preserving the Legacy." The book includes a chronology, four appendixes listing Dunham's choreographic works (on stage and in film) and her writings, a glossary, 25 pages of black-and-white photographs, and a detailed index. This timely tribute will interest all who love dance. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.


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