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Dennis Nahat

(b. 1946)


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(b Detroit, 20 Feb. 1946)

US dancer, choreographer, and director. He studied at the Juilliard School, at the American Ballet Center, and at the School of American Ballet, making his debut with the Joffrey Ballet in 1965. Between 1968 and 1971 he was with American Ballet Theatre and from 1969 began to choreograph his own ballets including Brahms Quintet (1969), Mendelssohn Symphony (Italian Symphony, 1971), and Some Times (mus. Claus Ogerman, 1972). In 1976 he and Ian Horvath founded the Cleveland Ballet where he was resident choreographer and then, from 1984, artistic director. He staged versions of The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Coppélia, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and among his original creations was Celebrations and Ode, set to Beethoven's 7th Symphony and the final movement of his 9th. In 1993 he and Robert Barnett, artistic director of the Atlanta Ballet, presented both companies in a version of Swan Lake that used Nahat's choreography. When Cleveland Ballet folded in 2000 Nahat relocated it to San José, where the company eventually became known as the Ballet San José. He has continued to create many works for it, including the full-length Middle Kingdom—Ancient China (2005).

Subjects: Dance.


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