American Negro Ballet Company
The American Negro Ballet Company formed in 1934 under the auspices of Eugene Von Grona, a German immigrant. Originally composed of thirty African-American jazz dancers, the company focused on serious modern dance. Lavinia Williams and Al Bledger were lead dancers.
The poorly reviewed debut performance on November 21, 1937, was conducted by Dean Dixon. It was held at the Lafayette Theatre in Harlem, New York. Von Grona was the main choreographer for pieces by Igor Stravinsky, Duke Ellington and W. C. Handy, among others.
Failure and reformation
The company only lasted five months until 1938. In 1939 the company was reborn as "Von Grona's American Swing Ballet".
- p.111 Moving Words: Re-writing Dance by Gay Morris, Psychology Press, 1996 Google Books retrieved July 4, 2011
- Martin, John (November 22, 1937). "NEGRO BALLET HAS DEBUT IN HARLEM: Company Directed by Eugene von Grona in a Program of His Compositions". New York Times. p. 15. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
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