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Claude Conyers

(b Kansas City, MO, Dec 21, 1950). American modern dancer, choreographer, and company director. She was trained in various styles of show dancing by Joseph Stevenson, who had been a student of the famed dance anthropologist Katherine Dunham. Zollar followed in Dunham’s scholarly footsteps, eventually earning a master’s degree in fine arts at Florida State University, where she also studied ballet and modern dance. In 1980 she relocated to New York and continued her studies with Dianne McIntyre. Following her childhood bent for making up dances, she founded her own company, Urban Bush Women, in 1984, and began choreographic explorations of the history and culture of African American women in an urban, multi-ethnic environment. Blending modern and jazz dance, her works range in subject matter from Shelter (1988), a piercing study of homelessness, to Batty Moves (1995), a saucy celebration of the buttocks of black women. Some of Zollar’s dances are evening-length works performed to percussive sounds, a capella vocalizations, music by contemporary composers, and the spoken word, arising from librettos written by poets and novelists. Notable among these is ...

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(b ?Paris, ?1676; d Paris, Aug 6, 1739). French dancer, choreographer, and academician. His dancing-master father, Antoine (d 20 July 1740), married Catherine Beauchamps, the sister of dancing-master Pierre Beauchamps, with whom Michel reputedly studied. Michel was also connected to [J.-B. Poquelin] Molière’s family through his wife, Marie-Nicole-Thérèse Dugast (married 7 May 1701). Michel danced at the Paris Opéra from 1690; from 1728 until his death he was a ‘compositeur des ballets’. On occasion, he choreographed or performed in ballets for the French court. Among other works, he choreographed a Ballet de la Paix (1713) for the Jesuit Collège Louis le Grand. His famous pupils included Marie-Anne Cupis de Camargo, Marie Sallé, and, allegedly, Franz Hilverding van Wewen. Noverre claims that Blondi did not teach his students to read dance notation, but as a member of the Académie Royale de Danse, Blondi signed a resolution condemning Pierre Rameau’s ...

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Jonathan Katz

(b Delhi, Dec 25, 1928). Indian classical dancer, scholar and administrator. She was educated at the Universities of Delhi and Michigan and took her PhD in Indology from Banaras Hindu University, which is among those universities which later awarded her honorary degrees. In addition to her studies in art, history and English and Sanskrit literature she trained in several styles of Indian classical dance. Her numerous published writings show a broad interdisciplinary interest in the cultural, historical and philosophical contexts of Indian art and performing traditions. She has stressed the conceptual links between different Indian arts and has striven to identify underlying symbolic and intellectual themes in the various regional styles and genres she has studied. In her administrative career she has held Indian government posts in cultural policy and has headed departments responsible for archaeology, museums and libraries as well as literary, visual and performing arts. She became first the secretary and then the academic director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi. She has held visiting appointments at universities in the USA and has represented India in international conferences, seminars and exhibitions; she has also been a member of UNESCO committees. Under Vatsyayan's leadership the Indira Gandhi Centre has become an important documentation centre for the study of classical Indian texts and traditional Indian philosophy and performing arts. It has also published a series of primary texts and translations, dictionaries and reference works concerning music and other arts. Vatsyayan's academic and administrative achievements have been recognized in a number of national awards including the Padma Shri of the Republic of India in ...