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Murray Louis

(b. 1926)


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(b New York, 4 Nov. 1926)

US dancer, choreographer, and teacher He studied with Halprin and Nikolais, performing with the latter's company between 1948 and 1969 and also teaching at the Henry Street Playhouse school where Nikolais was director. In 1953 he began choreographing for an ad hoc group of dancers which became the Murray Louis Dance Group and which toured Europe for the first time in 1972. A dancer of unusual physical wit and sharp comic timing, his own choreography was often humorous in style. He went on to create over 50 works including Calligraph for Martyrs (1962, extended version for Berlin Opera Ballet, 1975), Junk Dances (1964), a three-act version of Scheherazade (mus. Rimsky-Korsakov plus jazz, rock, and electronic additions, 1975), Moment (mus. Ravel, 1975), Five Haikus (mus. Scriabin, 1979), Four Brubeck Pieces (mus. Brubeck, 1984), and The Disenchantment of Pierrot (mus. various, 1986). In 1989 he and Nikolais merged their two companies into Murray Louis Nikolais Dance, a company of which Louis became sole director in 1993 after Nikolais's death and for which he created Alone (a solo tribute to Nikolais), Singers All (mus. Scott Killian, 1996), and Symphony (mus. Nikolais, 1996), among others. In 1999 the Nikolais-Louis Dance Foundation phased out the company to focus on education although it formed a relationship with the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company to ensure the maintenance and performance of the Nikolais-Louis repertory. Louis has taught widely, in workshops and masterclasses, produced the film series Dance as an Artform in 1972, and published two books of essays, Inside Dance (New York, 1980) and On Dance (Chicago, 1992). As one of the directors of the Foundation he has also published a manual and a video series to illuminate and promote the Nikolais-Louis dance technique.

http://www.nikolaislouis.org Website for the Nikolais-Louis Dance Foundation

Subjects: Dance.


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