Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This Week in Dance History: October 22-31

October 23, 1932: The Dancing Teachers Business Association of New York City met for the first time. It would later evolve into the organization known as Dance Educators of America.

And in 1972: The musical Pippin, with choreography by Bob Fosse, had its Broadway premiere. The clip below is from a more recent touring production of Pippin.

Oct 24, 1989: The Serge Lifar international ballet competition was held for the first time in Paris, France. The first winner was Vladamir Malakhov.

Oct 25, 1996: Dancer Eugène Polyakov passed away at age 53. Trained at the Bolshoi Ballet, he left for Italy in 1973, and assisted Rudolf Nureyev at the Paris Opera Ballet from 1983. His brief New York Times obituary is available on line.

October 26 1656: A law was passed in New Amsterdam (now New York City) forbidding dancing on the Sabbath.

October 27, 1892: Vicente Escudero, a gypsy dancer widely respected for his mastery of flamenco dance, was born.

Oct 28, 1928: Florence Klotz, Six-time Tony-winning costume designer, was born. Her designs were featured in such productions as Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, On the Twentieth Century, Rags, City of Angels, Kiss of the Spider Woman and dozens more Broadway shows.

Oct 29, 1919: The Trinidad-born American modern dancer, choreographer, scholar Pearl Primus, who combined African, Caribbean, and African-American styles passed away at age 75. She is featured in the PBS documentary Free To Dance. The link above is to her biography on the PBS web page.

Oct 30 1924: Russian-born French ballet dancer/choreographer, Serge Golovine, was born. He was remembered by Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times as "one of the greatest dancers of his generation.. As popular as Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov in later years, Mr. Golovine was known for the airborne quality, lightness and virtuosity of his dancing. His best-known roles were the Blue Bird in 'The Sleeping Beauty,' where the articulation and elegance of his footwork were seen to their best advantage, and the title role of 'Le Spectre de la Rose.' He was also greatly praised for his poignant portrayal of Petrouchka, which he danced at the Paris Opera in the 1970's." He became a leading teacher at the ballet school of the Paris Opera.

Oct 31 1956: The Royal Ballet, formerly Sadler's Wells, was granted a Royal Charter.