Dance History

Fred Astaire 1899–1987

October 1, 2015 by

The king of movie musicals
Fred Astaire was one of the most famous movie-musical dance stars of the 20th century. His remarkable ease of movement, innovative filming techniques and legendary partnership with Ginger Rogers had … Continue reading

Margaret H’Doubler 1889–1982

September 1, 2015 by

The architect of dance in higher education
Though Margaret H’Doubler was not a dancer—she took only a handful of classes in her lifetime—she is considered the founder of dance in American higher education. At a time … Continue reading

Anna Sokolow

August 1, 2015 by

Choreographer for social justice

Anna Sokolow was a prolific choreographer fiercely committed to social justice and unafraid to deal with difficult subjects in her work—like war, poverty, isolation and strife.
Born in Connecticut to Russian-Jewish immigrant … Continue reading

Antony Tudor 1908–1987

July 1, 2015 by

Master of the psychological ballet

Antony Tudor was a British ballet choreographer who introduced the psychological ballet, exploring character development, emotion and subtext. Though Tudor wasn’t a prolific choreographer, his works brought legitimacy and public acclaim … Continue reading

Josephine Baker 1906–1975

June 1, 2015 by

The Beyoncé of the Jazz Age

Josephine Baker was a comedic dancer, famous for her beauty and risqué performances. Despite racial prejudices of the 1920s, she transformed herself from small-town dance comedienne to international superstar.
Baker was … Continue reading

Alwin Nikolais 1910–1993

May 1, 2015 by

Multimedia pioneer
Alwin Nikolais is best known for his multimedia approach to dance, using electronic scores, special-effects lighting and elaborate costumes and props in his pieces. But he also paved the way for abstract modern dance. … Continue reading