Lawaune Kennard

Negro Unit of Ballet Theatre
Katherine Dunham Company
Negro Dance Company

From left to right: Kennard with Lucille Ellis, Richardena Jackson, and Eartha Kitt, all members of the Katherine Dunham Company, ~1945.

Lawaune Kennard studied with Martha Graham and was a member of the Negro Unit of Ballet Theatre and the Negro Dance Company. Kennard was one of the 16 African American women who performed in Agnes de Mille’s Black Ritual. She performed with Katherine Dunham’s company in Cabin in the Sky, which was filmed in 1943 and starred Lena Horne; in Dunham’s 1944 Tropical Revue; in the 1945 Broadway musical Carib Song; and as a lead dancer in the 1946 Bal Negre. Talley Beatty described Kennard as “a fantastic dancer.” She married the actor Rex Ingram in 1941 and was then known by Lawaune Ingram.

Kennard (left) with unidentified dancer in Black Ritual. Photo by Carl Van Vechten.

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