Vanoye Aikens

Vanoye Aikens, also known as Vanoye Aikens Frazier, was a talented dancer and choreographer who worked closely with Katherine Dunham, a pioneering figure in African American dance and anthropology. Aikens joined the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, which was known for its fusion of African, Caribbean, and modern dance styles, in the 1940s.

As a dancer, Vanoye Aikens showcased her skills and artistry in various performances and toured extensively with the Katherine Dunham Dance Company. She became known for her powerful and dynamic stage presence, contributing to the company’s reputation for innovative and captivating performances.

Katherine Dunham and Vanoye Aikens, early 1950s

Aikens also worked as a choreographer, creating original dance pieces for the Katherine Dunham Dance Company. Her choreographic contributions added depth and diversity to the company’s repertoire, further establishing its significance in the dance world.

The Katherine Dunham Dance Company, led by Katherine Dunham and featuring talented dancers like Vanoye Aikens, played a crucial role in breaking racial barriers in the dance field and promoting African American dance and culture. The company’s performances were celebrated for their technical prowess, cultural authenticity, and artistic expression.

Vanoye Aikens and Ettore Manni in The Revolt of the Slaves (1960)

While information about Vanoye Aikens may be limited, her contributions to the Katherine Dunham Dance Company and her involvement in advancing African American dance and culture are significant within the context of the dance world.

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