Alfred Brooks (dancer)

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Alfred Brooks also known as Alfred Brooks Pew or Al Brooks (October 1916, Kansas City, Missouri - December 15, 2005) was an early influencer of counterculture, founder of a modern dance company called Munt-Brooks, and later founder of the experimental theatre group The Changing Scene.

Life and Work[edit]

Alfred Brooks Pew was the youngest of five children born to John Brooks Pew and Maysie Virginia Pew.[1] Brooks attended The Juilliard School in New York with B.A and M.A. degrees in musical composition. As a student at Juilliard he was first exposed to modern dance, and he studied dance with Hanya Holm.[1]

In 1952 he opened Munt-Brooks dance studio in New York City with his wife Maxine Munt.[1]

In 1968 Brooks and Munt opened the non-profit, theatre/dance school called The Changing Scene in Denver, Colorado, after closing the Munt-Brooks dance studio in New York a few years prior. Everything was volunteer based and was devoted to presenting not just dance and theatre but new work in all media.[1]

The Changing Scene was the first to have featured profanity, nudity and sexual situations on a Denver stage and in 1968 they were raided by the Denver vice squad because, Brooks said, "officers misunderstood what an offering called Organum must have been about".[2]

Brooks was a co-founder of the Colorado Theatre Guild.[3]

After Maxine Munt's death in January 2000, The Changing Scene closed.[1]

The Changing Scene influenced a new generation of bohemian theatre including the Changing Scene Northwest, created by a former board member after they moved to Washington.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Oral History Interview with Alfred Brooks, Carson-Brierly Dance Library 'Living Legends of Dance' Oral Histories". Digital DU, a service of University of Denver Libraries. Denver, Colorado: University of Denver. 2004-02-25. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ Moore, John (December 20, 2005). "Theater's Al Brooks dies, The Changing Scene Experimental Theatre's founder brought artistic freedom to Denver stages". The Denver Post. The Denver Post. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Moore, John (January 1, 2006). "Brooks' spirit lives on in Washington state". The Berkshire Eagle. The Denver Post. Retrieved May 29, 2014.