Magazine article Dance Teacher

Pearl Lang 1921-2009

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Pearl Lang 1921-2009

Article excerpt

As a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Pearl Lang originated roles in many of Graham's works and was the first dancer to be entrusted with Graham's own roles. In her later years, Lang became a prolific choreographer known for her dances based on Jewish themes. She choreographed more than 60 works for her company while also serving as an ambassador of Graham technique.

Lang was born in Chicago to Russian Jews who kept her Jewish heritage present in her upbringing. After an introduction to Graham technique at the University of Chicago, she moved to New York City at age 20 to study with Graham. She was a pupil at the Graham School for only a short time before Graham invited her to join her company in 1942. Graham began choreographing prominent roles for her in works such as Deaths and Entrances (1943) and Appalachian Spring (1944). An expressive and versatile dancer, Lang also performed in Broadway productions, like Carousel (1945) and Finian's Rainbow (1947). …

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