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Eliot Feld

(b. 1942)


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(b Brooklyn, NY, 5 Jul. 1942)

US dancer, choreographer, and director. He studied at the High School of Performing Arts, at the School of American Ballet, and with Richard Thomas, making his professional debut aged 12 in off-Broadway shows. In 1958 he danced in Robbins's West Side Story and also performed with the companies of Lang, Maslow, and McKayle. He then danced with American Ballet Theatre (1963–8, 1971–2) and in 1967 choreographed his first ballet for the company, Harbinger (mus. Prokofiev), to critical acclaim. A year later he created Meadowlark (mus. Haydn) for Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Between 1969 and 1971 he was director and choreographer of his own group, the American Ballet Company, creating Early Songs (R. Strauss, 1970) and The Gods Amused (mus. Debussy, 1971), among others. Between 1971 and 1972 he was again with ABT then from 1972 to 1974 he was a freelance choreographer, for example for City Center Joffrey Ballet, creating Jive (mus. Gould, 1973). In 1974 he founded the Eliot Feld Ballet (becoming Feld Ballet c.1980, Feld Ballets/NY in 1990, and Feld Ballet Tech in 1997) for which he has since choreographed most of his works. He is a highly prolific choreographer whose vocabulary draws freely on modern and classical vocabularies and, despite criticisms of gimmickery, his work has retained its populist appeal. He makes use of an unusually eclectic range of music, though he has made several works to scores by Reich, including Grand Canyon (1985), Kore (1988), Clave (1992), Tongue and Groove (1995), and Isis in Transit (2008). In 1997 Feld choreographed a revival of Bernstein's musical On the Town (New York Shakespeare Festival). He is additionally an energetic dance activist, becoming founder and director of the New Ballet School, New York in 1978 (which gave free tuition to inner-city children) and in 1982 becoming instrumental in the founding of the Joyce Theater which functions both as home for his company and a venue for middle-scale dance. In 2003 his company was disbanded but in 2004 became active again.

http://www.ballettech.org Website for the Feld company

Subjects: Dance.


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