april berry katherine dunham

Dunham Technique Workshop Series

This special 4-week workshop will offer dance students an opportunity to study the methodology and dynamic movement vocabulary of American dance icon Katherine Dunham. Dunham is credited for developing one of the most important pedagogues for teaching dance that is used throughout the world. The Dunham Technique is a series of codified exercises, movement patterns, isolations, and progressions based on primitive rhythms in dance that flow in a logical order into movement combinations and choreography. The technique is used as a tool to train both the avocational and the professional dancer to facilitate an understanding of culture. Dunham’s influence crosses generations and genres and can be seen in the work of many contemporary dance choreographers and companies. Katherine Dunham revolutionized American dance by going to the roots of black dance and rituals transforming them into significant artistic choreography that speaks to all.

The Dunham Technique Workshop Series will be taught by April Berry, certified Dunham Technique master instructor and former principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Live music will accompany all classes and a Q & A with Ms. Berry will be held at the end of each workshop.

Advance registration required – $70 for all 4 weeks. Register here.


april berryApril Berry, a former principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is a master teacher, lecturer, and artist-in residence, and has taught at numerous universities around the country, including the University of North Carolina- Charlotte, The Ohio State University, and Denison University and has conducted classes and workshops in North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, California, Michigan and Ohio.  Berry is one of a handful of certified Dunham “masters” in the world, authorized to teach Dunham technique, a technique created and codified by legendary American dance pioneer, Katherine Dunham.  April received Master Certification from Ms. Dunham in 1994, after studying the technique under Ms. Dunham and former Dunham Company dancers Vanoye Aikens, Glory Van Scott, Tommy Gomez and Julie Robinson Belafonte, with additional mentorship by Ronnie “Yao” Marshall.  Ms. Berry has had the distinct honor of performing several of Dunham’s signature choreographic works in an evening- length retrospective titled The Magic of Katherine Dunham, produced and presented by the Ailey Company in 1987/1988. April was also featured on two Ailey season posters, representing Dunham’s signature works Shango and L’Ag’Ya.  Mrs. Belafonte and Ms. Berry are the only two dancers in the world to have performed (after Miss Dunham) the female lead in L’Ag’Ya. As an Ailey dancer, Berry has performed an extensive repertoire all over the world, created by renowned Twentieth Century choreographers from the world of modern, ballet, jazz and post-modern dance. April has danced Lester Horton’s Sarong Paramaribo and Horton’s To Jose Clemente Orozco, Alvin Ailey’s MemoriaRevelationsCryMasekela Langage, The RiverNight Creature, and originated roles in For Bird With Love and his last ballet, Opus McShann,  as well as dancing several other Ailey ballets.  She has performed John Butler’s Portrait of Billie, originated roles in Talley Beatty’s The Stack-Up and Blueshift, and danced works by Donald McKayle, Louis Johnson, Billy Wilson, Hans Van Manen, Choo San Goh, Lar Lubovitch and Bill T. Jones, among others.

About This Event

ADF's Samuel H. Scripps Studios, 721 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705

April 27 to May 18, 2014
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm