American Dance Machine

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The American Dance Machine was a theatrical dance company created by Lee Theodore, which played on Broadway at the Century Theatre, opening Jun 14, 1978 and in total running 199 performances. It was duplicated with a second cast for the American Dance Festival at Duke University in 1978. The show was a "Living Archive" of Broadway theatre dance; great theatre dances saved from oblivion. Films were made of the performances to preserve original Broadway choreography and can be found at the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts in New York City. Broadway legend Gwen Verdon appeared in film versions of the show. Choreographers included: Agnes De Mille, Jack Cole, Joe Layton, Michael Kidd, Ron Field, Bob Fosse, Onna White and Peter Gennaro. Featured dancers and guest artists included Janet Elber, Carol Estey, Harold Cromer, Liza Gennaro, Patti Mariano, Nancy Chismar and Donald Young.

The American Dance Machine was also a school in New York City and later on Long Island at the American Theater Dance Workshop that taught original Broadway dance repertoire in the late 1970s and 1980s until Lee Theodore's death in 1986. Teachers included founder Lee Theodore, Nanette Charisse and Gwen Verdon. Dance repertoire for classes and shows included, Can-Can, Brigadoon, Little Me, Shenandoah, The Boyfriend, Carousel, Cabaret, Finian's Rainbow, West Side Story, Sweet Charity, George M, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Half a Sixpence, Walking Happy and No No Nanette.


ADM actively archived the works of great dance "Teams" including The Szony's and Augie & Margo; as well as original Ballroom Dances. ADM productions often featured these specialities in diverse seasons in USA, Japan & Italy. Francois Szony himself often appeared. During several seasons in the 1980s, Peter Maxwell and Vicki Regan were engaged as the principal dancers for that section of the show. Maxwell was a former Ballroom World Champion and Regan a US Champion and highly accomplished tap dancer (she appeared in the original cast of 42nd Street on Broadway) They were chosen for the cover of the iconic Dance Magazine (Editor-in-Chief Bill Como) issue highlighting the article "The Sensational American Dance Machine In Japan" ADM also established, for a short time, a training "satellite" in Tokyo, as reported in the article.