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Memoriam - Page 3
In Memoriam - Jed Danforth
It is with great sadness we report the sudden death of former DO40 Board Member Jed Danforth during his vacation to Sweden and Russia. There was a memorial service held at the Redden Funeral Home on West 14th Street on August 3rd. Many of Jed’s DO40 friends and dance classmates attended the service. Jed was a jovial spirit, well liked by all, and loved participating, and volunteering, at all DO40 events. He was stage right in the wings at our dance concerts, always there for ushering, ticket taking, computer issues -- whatever it was, Jed was there to help out. Donations can be made in his name to Jed’s favorite organizations, Dancers Over 40 or CTFD.
Frankie Manning (Mr. Lindy Hop) - 94
by Gregg Mayer
Many swing-era affecionados are mourning the recent death of Frankie Manning.
Elaine Cancilla Orbach - 69
by Gregg Mayer
The sad news has come in on the death of Elaine Cancilla, the widow of Jerry Orbach. Elaine, who was 69, died of pneumonia. Her husband died in December, 2004.
Pearl Lang - 87
by Gregg Mayer
Pearl Lang, the internationally-esteemed dancer, choreographer and teacher, died at the end of February at the age of 87. Born in 1921, Lang was a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1942-52 and a guest artist with the company from 1954 through the late 1970;s, becoming the first woman to dance Graham's roles in seven pieces of the repertory.
Carolyn George D'Amboise - 81
by Gregg Mayer
Carolyn George d'Amboise, the photographer and former ballet and Broadway dancer, died Tuesday at 81. Married to NYC Ballet star and National Dance Institute director, Jacques d'Amboise, she died at the couple's NYC home after a long struggle with primary lateral sclerosis, a rare neuromuscular disease.
Carolyn d'Amboise was a native of Dallas, and began her career in Broadway musicals in the late 1940's. Joining the San Francisco Ballet soon after, she then joined NYCB in 1952, where she met Jacques d'Amboise and married him on New Year's Day 1956.
Once she retired from dance, Carolyn d'Amboise worked as a dance photographer, as well as travelling around the world photographing people in non-dance-related situations and places. Her work was published in various books and magazines and she took many NYCB photos as well.
Jacques d'Amboise has said of his wife that she inspired him as a dancer. In fact two of their four children went on to dance with the NYCB: Christopher and Charlotte, both of whom have also performed on Broadway. Catherine lives in Santa Fe and George in Boulder, CO.
Pina Bausch, Genius, Innovator - 68
The extraordinarily gifted dancer, choreographer and director, Philippine "Pina" Bausch, has died of cancer, in Germany and it is impossible for me to get my head around it. Not only was she younger than I but I'd just seen her at BAM, as I always do, each time she comes to NYC. For years we have been championing her cause even when the rest of the world seemed late in catching up. Her reputation in Europe far surpassed it here and yet, there was always a full house of devotees at BAM each time!
Pina was born in 1940 and began dancing at the Folkwang Academy, famous for its direction by Kurt Jooss ("Green Table" in the Joffrey repertory,)and its Mary Wigman influences. When she won a scholarship to Juilliard in 1960, she studied with Anthony Tudor, Jose Limon and Paul Taylor. But she actually performed with Paul Sanasardo and Donya Feuer and even put in the requisite time with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company.
Upon her return to Germany in 1962, Bausch joined Jooss' new Folkwang Ballett Company as a soloist and assistant to the choreographer, before choreographing her first piece in 1968. The following year she succeeded Jooss as artistic director, which led to her moving on to artistic director of what was then Wuppertal Opera Ballet (and renamed the"Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch").
The Tanztheater style of dance included speech, exotic, eccentric and often over-the-top sets, costumes and premise. But in Bausch's hands, it was never over-stated or obvious. Her theatricality was unique, unmatched by any of her contemporaries, though similar in many wonderful ways to the American, Robert Wilson and the French-Canadian, Robert Lepage. Her work was funny, sad, moving, surprising, outrageous and always aesthetically and artistically impeccable. Her surreal take on life was appreciated by such different artists as Pedro Almodovar, in the movie "Talk to Her" and Federico Fellini, who cast her in the role of La Principessa L'herimia in his film, "The Ship Sails On."
Bausch was married to Rolf Borzik, a set and costume designer who pre-deceased her by almost thirty years. He had influenced the visual style of the Tanztheater from the very beginning and was a great financial support to the company until it began to receive its justified international recognition. They leave a son, Rolf.
Bausch studied at the Cunningham studio at one point during her NY-student days and I recall her from that period, but very vaguely; yet that face -recalling both Virginia Woolf and a Modigliani portrait - was hard to forget. When I think back on a few weeks ago - also at BAM- seeing Merce on his 90th birthday, getting his well-earned acclaim and honors, I can't imagine that any of us thought we'd never be seeing Pina's face again on that stage. Pina Bausch was awarded th Goethe Price of Frankfurt-am-Main in 2008 and her work will continue to be shown, one hopes,for many years to come. Her assistant, dancer Dominique Mercy - hopefully- will see to that.
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