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Katherine Dunham Pratt

interviews and writing
From Dorothy Demby's 1981 Interview with Katherine Dunham Pratt |
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Excerpts from Dorothy Demby's 1981 Interview with John Pratt | PDF > The Role of Dancing in a Primitive Society | PDF >

"I am not a person who deals in time sequentially. Sometimes I am forced to think of it that way, but it’s not my nature. I remember once writing to Bernard Berenson 'Time is a round thing' and that is apparently the way I look at time, life, and everything else that is circular and not linear. . . ."

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". . . I found myself making a perfectly acceptable living as an artist. I never took myself terribly seriously as a painter. And when I finally became a theatrical designer, I realized that that was what I really liked to do. And I think it’s because it is a temporary thing.

"D.DEMBY: Always changing.

"J. PRATT: Yes, it’s a thing of the moment, and when it’s over, it’s completely finished, and you go on to something else. And I think I’ve always been in the theater, rather than having pride to immortalize myself as an artist. I never took myself very seriously. Not that I wasn’t perfectly truthful, I certainly did the best I could. . . . "

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"The challenge to space and gravity seems to be typically characteristic of the most complex of animal species. This challenge often assumes a symmetrical expression involving form and time. The leap, the dash and the run of young animals, the complex movements of the choreography of birds, the seasonal show of masses of elephants, are obvious signs of such deep need for rhythmical and organized movement. . . . "

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