Reviews of the Century

By Parks, Gary | Dance Magazine, March 1999 | Go to article overview

Reviews of the Century


Parks, Gary, Dance Magazine


Great Moments from the pages of Dance Magazine

These excerpts from historic Dance Magazine reviews retain their original spelling and punctuation. All photos are from Dance Magazine's archives.

1940

MARCH 1940 KATHERINE DUNHAM & DANCE GROUP WINSOR THEATRE, FEB. 18 BY JOSEPH ARNOLD KAYE

Miss Dunham, a Negro, flared into unsuspecting New York like a comet.... she is today one of the most talked-of dancers, and one for whom a happy box-office future can be predicted.

Katherine Dunham has developed a repertoire ranging from the primitive dances of the West Indies to the Florida swamp shimmy. With her is a company of thirteen, and embellishing her compositions are fascinating costumes designed by John Pratt.

This dancer's virtues are a genius for theatre dance choreography, a keen understanding of the uses to which her ethnographic material can be put, and an excellent technique....

1942

JANUARY 1942 PAUL DRAPER IN JOINT RECITAL WITH LARRY ADLER. CARNEGIE HALL, DEC. 28 BY ANATOLE CHUJOY

... in his art form Paul Draper is a classicist in the finest and purest sense of the word. His dancing embodies the elegance, dignity, simplicity, and correctness of style which are true earmarks of a classic art. That he is the originator of this style in tap is still another feather in his cap.

1944

NOVEMBER 1944 PEARL PRIMUS BY VIRGINIA KELLY

It is reassuring to find a sincere young artist, Pearl Primus, getting the break she deserves ... in a ten-day run at the Belasco Theatre.

In a day when we have such sophisticated and distorted interpretations of both the primitive and the Negro point of view, it is of immeasurable value to see the real thing presented by a gifted young dancer who has a beautiful personality and an amazing technical equipment with which to tell her story.

The half of the program devoted to the modern American Negro expresses all the charm, richness, sweetness and heart-rending tragedy of the race. These include: "Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Slave Market," "Strange Fruit," "Study In Nothing," "Rock Daniel," "Mischievous Interlude," "Hard Time Blues," and "Our Spring Will Come."

1945

JUNE 1945 MODERNS IN REVIEW BY R.S.S.

Martha Graham, ... opening at the National Theatre with her Dance Company ... was the long awaited event of the modern dance season. Repercussions of the acclaim given in Washington last October to her two numbers in the Library of Congress had been edging local interest to a fine pitch. And then last week musician Aaron Copland was handed the Pulitzer Prize for the score for one of them, Appalachian Spring; its premiere took place on opening night. …

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