Denby [Orr], Edwin
- Susan Au
(b Tianjin, China, Feb 4, 1903; d Searsmont, ME, July 12, 1983). American poet, dance critic, and librettist. Following his education at Harvard and the University of Vienna, he studied dance in Vienna at the Hellerau-Laxenburg school, a center of Ausdrucktanz, or expressive dance. He performed and choreographed in Germany, but returned to the United States in 1935 when the Nazis came to power. In New York City he renewed his acquaintance with composers Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson, whom he had met in Europe. Through their good offices, he was appointed dance critic of the periodical Modern Music in 1936. His association with Copland also included the writing of three opera libretti, though only one, The Second Hurricane (1937), was actually produced on stage. From 1943–5 he temporarily replaced Walter Terry, who was doing military service, as dance critic of the New York Herald Tribune....