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Daniele, Graciela  

Mary Jo Lodge

(b Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec 8, 1939). American director, choreographer, and performer. Trained in classical ballet at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Daniele became a professional dancer at age 14. She performed for several years with ballet companies in South America and Europe and came to the United States in 1964 to learn American-style jazz dance. She made her Broadway debut in the musical What Makes Sammy Run? that same year, which led to several more Broadway roles. She first assisted prominent Broadway director/choreographers Michael Bennett and Bob Fosse before taking the helm herself on numerous shows, first as a choreographer and then adding the director’s role. She choreographed major Broadway productions as The Pirates of Penzance (1981), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1985), and Ragtime (1998), and three Woody Allen films, including Mighty Aphrodite (1995). Daniele’s first Broadway production as a director/choreographer was ...


Duport, Pierre (Peter) Landrin  

Kate Van Winkle Keller

(b Paris, France, c1762; d Washington, DC, April 11, 1841). American dancing master, choreographer, and composer of dance music. He was born into a family named Landrin with close connections to the court of Louis XVI. He was a pupil of Maximilien Gardel (1741–87), and for six years he was dancing master for the Paris Opéra. He left Paris three days after the fall of the Bastille in 1789 and arrived in Philadelphia in mid-1790. He changed his name, placing advertisements for his dancing schools as Mr. De Duport. Chiefly a choreographer and teacher of social dancing, Duport blended amateur and professional dancing with theatrical standards of content and performance. He wrote music and created hornpipes and other solo dances for his students, as well as duos such as figured minuets, allemandes, and waltzes; group dances, including complex French contredanses, cotillions, and English country dances; and ballets for his classes to perform at recitals. A music copybook in Duport’s hand traces his creative career from ...


Elssler, Fanny  

Horst Walter


Member of Elssler family

(b Vienna, June 23, 1810; d Vienna, Nov 27, 1884). Austrian dancer, daughter of Johann Elssler. She ranks with Maria Taglioni and Carlotta Grisi among the legendary prima ballerinas of the Romantic ballet. She made her début in Vienna at the Kärntnertortheater and in 1824 went to Italy for further training. In Naples she learnt to apply dramatic expression to the dance. After her first great successes in Berlin (1830) and a short stay in London, she and her sister Therese were engaged by the Paris Opéra in 1834. There, amid both feud and enthusiasm, she succeeded Taglioni. She celebrated unparalleled triumphs in America (1840–42), and returned to tour the capitals of Europe with equal success. She brought her strong, passionate temperament from pure ballet into character dancing. As a leading stage dancer, she adopted elements of Spanish folklore, her ...


Forqueray, Antoine [‘le père’]  

Lucy Robinson

Member of Forqueray family

(b Paris, 1672; d Mantes, June 28, 1745). Son of Michel Forqueray (1650–1714/5), a French violinist and dancing-master who settled in Paris in 1670. The Mercure galant of April 1682 records that at an early age Forqueray

had the honour … of playing the basse de violon before the king, making His Majesty so pleased that he commanded that someone should teach [Forqueray] to play the bass viol … he profited so much from the lessons that … there are few who equal him.

According to his obituarist, he remained at court for five or six years and was educated with the court pages. At least six viol players were employed at court, including Marin Marais, but several sources state that he was taught only by his father, and d’Aquin noted that he was never a pupil of Marais. Forqueray often entertained the king during mealtimes and was called upon to play for foreign ambassadors. At the end of the ...


Gardel family  

Friderica Derra De Moroda

French family of dancers and ballet-masters.

Gardel, Claude (d Paris, 1774)

Gardel, Maximilien Léopold Philippe Joseph (b Mannheim, Dec 18, 1741; d Paris, March 11, 1787)

Gardel, Pierre Gabriel (b Nancy, Feb 4, 1758; d Paris, Oct 18, 1840)

MGG1 (M. Briquet) [with lists of ballets]Spectacles de Paris, ou Calendrier historique et chronologique des théâtres, 36 (1787)J.-E. Despréaux: Mes passe-temps: chansons suivies de L’art de la danse (Paris, 1806)J.G. Noverre: Lettres sur les arts imitateurs (Paris, 1807)Mémorial dramatique, ou Almanach théâtral pour l’an 1808 (Paris, 1808)Annuaire dramatique, ou Etrennnes théâtrales, 13 (1817)A. Baron: Lettres et entretiens sur la danse (Paris, 1824)Castil-Blaze: La danse et les ballets depuis Bacchus jusqu’à Mademoiselle Taglioni (Paris, 1832)A. Saint-Léon: Portraits et biographies des plus célèbres maîtres de ballets et chorégraphes, anciens et nouveaux, de l’école française et italienne...


Gardel, Claude  

Friderica Derra De Moroda

Member of Gardel family

(d Paris, 1774). French dancer. In 1741 he became ballet-master in Mannheim, where he was partly responsible for the choreography in Meride which opened the opera house on 17 January 1742. He later held appointments in Stuttgart, Metz (where he married the actress Jeanne Darthenay) and from ...


Gardel, Maximilien Léopold Philippe Joseph  

Friderica Derra De Moroda

Member of Gardel family

(b Mannheim, Dec 18, 1741; d Paris, March 11, 1787). French dancer and ballet-master, son of Claude Gardel. He entered the Paris Opéra about 1755, and soon became a leading dancer along with such celebrities as Gaetano Vestris. Vestris, for unknown reasons, did not appear in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux on 21 January 1772, and Gardel was called on to take his place. He agreed to do so only if allowed to dance without a mask and with his own blonde hair instead of Vestris’s customary black wig. His appearance caused a sensation and in time led to the abolition of masks and wigs for male dancers.

In 1773 Gardel and his colleague Jean Bercher, called Dauberval, were appointed assistant ballet-masters to Vestris. On Vestris’s retirement in 1776 the two assistants expected to take his place, as was the usual practice at the Opéra; but Marie Antoinette had Noverre, formerly her dance teacher in Vienna, nominated to this position. Gardel and Dauberval started a campaign against Noverre, and by ...


Gardel, Pierre Gabriel  

Friderica Derra De Moroda

Member of Gardel family

(b Nancy, Feb 4, 1758; d Paris, Oct 18, 1840). French dancer, son of Claude Gardel. In 1771 he entered the Opéra, where his elder brother was largely responsible for his training. He quickly became one of the best pupils of the Ecole de Danse, and soon after his début in 1774 reached the ranks of the leading dancers. In 1783 he became his brother’s assistant. In 1786 the brothers produced the ballet Les sauvages, for which they also wrote the music. On his brother’s death in 1787 Pierre was appointed ballet-master, a post he held for over 40 years with many successes both as dancer and as choreographer. Two of his best-known ballets were produced in 1790, Télémaque anns l’île de Calypso and Psyché; the latter remained in the repertory until 1829, reaching over 1150 performances. During the Revolution Gardel choreographed Le jugement de Paris...


Griffiths, John  

Kate Van Winkle Keller

(fl. 1784–1800). American dancing master and choreographer. Griffiths was the earliest-known choreographer to publish his work in the United States. He issued a collection of country dances and cotillions (Providence, 1788), and an expanded collection with instructions for polite deportment (Northampton, 1794). The whole or partial contents of these books were reprinted by several rural New England and New York publishers over the next 15 years. A broadside of the deportment rules was printed separately. Griffiths based his activities in New York (1784–7, 1796–9?) and Boston (1788–94), and taught in smaller towns in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and upstate New York. In 1800 he moved to Charleston, South Carolina, perhaps via Philadelphia. Through his publications and itinerant teaching, Griffiths strongly influenced the repertory of social dancing and behavior in New York and New England ballrooms in the early Federal period. Some of his choreographies, notably “Fisher’s Hornpipe,” are still danced today. Griffiths may have composed several tunes for use in his classes, such as “Griffiths Whim,” “Griffiths Fancy,” and “Duo Minuet.” And he may have been related to one of the Griffiths families active on the English stage during the second half of the 18th century....


Layton, Joe  

Paul R. Laird

[Lichtman, Joseph ]

(b Brooklyn, NY, May 3, 1931; d Key West, FL, May 5, 1994). American dancer, choreographer, and director. Layton joined the dancing chorus of Oklahoma! in 1947, followed by appearances as a dancer in such shows as High Button Shoes (1947), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), Miss Liberty (1949), and Wonderful Town (1953). While in the army in the early 1950s, Layton started to choreograph and direct. He spent two years in the mid-1950s in France as a dancer and choreographer with the Ballet Ho de George Reich. Returning to the United States in 1956, Layton was a featured dancer in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s televised Cinderella (1957) and worked in summer stock. His New York choreography debut was an off-Broadway revival of On the Town (1959). Layton choreographed Once Upon a Mattress off-Broadway and then on Broadway and in London, and continued his work on Broadway with dances for ...


Leclair, Jean-Marie  

Neal Zaslaw


Member of Leclair family

(b Lyons, May 10, 1697; d Paris, Oct 22, 1764). French composer, violinist, and dancer. He is considered the founder of the French violin school.

Before his 19th year, Leclair mastered violin playing, dancing, and lacemaking. He was then listed among the dancers at the Lyons opera, together with Marie-Rose Casthagnié whom he married on November 9, 1716. He may also have been active as a dancer and violinist in Rouen, where according to Gerber his patron was Mme Mezangère (La Laurencie however doubted the Rouen connection).

Leclair was in Turin in 1722, where he may have been drawn by employment at royal wedding festivities; he was evidently active there as a ballet-master, though he did not hold an official position. Possibly he received violin lessons from G.B. Somis.

Going to Paris in 1723, Leclair came under the patronage of one of the richest men in France, Joseph Bonnier, while he prepared his op.1 for publication. These sonatas were recognized for their originality and, according to one contemporary, they ‘appeared at first a kind of algebra capable of rebuffing the most courageous musicians’. Another wrote: ‘Le Clair est le premier qui sans imiter rien, Créa du beau, du neuf, qu’il peut dire le sien’ (‘Le Clair is the first person who, without imitating anything, created beautiful and new things, which he could call his own’)....


Park, Sue-Yeon  

Megan E. Hill

(b Ganghwa Island, South Korea, 1954). South Korean dancer, naturalized American. She was exposed to traditional Korean dance from a young age through the shamanistic Buddhist rituals that her family hosted when she was a child. At the age of four she moved with her family to the capital city of Seoul. From age six she was encouraged by her parents to study dance, and at age 13 she entered an art and performance school (kwonbon). She immigrated to the United States after she finished a tour there in 1981.

Park became involved with the Korean immigrant community in New York, including the Association for Korean Performing Arts. She later established a branch of the Korean Traditional Music Association in New York (1993) under the appellation Korean Traditional Performing Arts Association and founded Sounds of Korea, a performance group dedicated to preserving Korea’s traditional performing arts....


Vítková, Lucie  

Ian Mikyska

(b Boskovice, 19 Jan 1984).Czech composer and performer (voice, accordion, and tap dance). She studied the accordion (2004–10) and composition (2007–8) at the Brno Conservatory, and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (with martin smolka and Peter Graham[1]). She also studied as an exchange student at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the California Institute of the Arts (with michael pisaro), the Universität der Künste Berlin (with Marc Sabat), and Columbia University (with george e. lewis).

While she often works with elements outside of music, there is almost always an intense engagement with direct listening, often arrived at through intense focus on very limited material. Sources for her work include Morse code, maps of garments which she turns into scores (Shirt for Harp, Oboe, and Accordion; Jacket for Ensemble), field recordings which she notates descriptively and then asks musicians to interpret the notation (...