Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck

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Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck (born January 8, 1908, Kiev, Russian Empire – died April 23, 2006) was a pioneer in modern dance, dance pedagogy and Labanotation.


She began her dance studies in Philadelphia in 1924 at Riva Hoffman's studio. Hoffman was a proponent of Isadora Duncan's dance style. Nahumck danced with the Irma Duncan company from 1930–31 and was well known as a premier Duncan dancer. In 1929 she moved to New York City and studied with Hanya Holm, Mary Wigman, Martha Graham, Louis Horst, and at Anna Duncan's studio. In 1931 Nahumck co-founded the New Dance Group.[1]

She returned from New York to Philadelphia around 1943. The next year she established her own dance school, the Philadelphia Dance Academy, which incorporated modern, folk, ballet, Duncan and other dance traditions, as well as Labanotation. Nahumck's Philadelphia Dance Academy was absorbed by the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts in 1977 and continues today as the University of the Arts School of Dance.[2]


Nadia Chilkovsky wed Nicholas Nahumck in 1941; he died in 1993.


Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck died in 2006, aged 98, at the Sunrise Senior Living Center in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.[3]


  1. ^ Garafola, Lynn, ed. (1994). Of, By, and For the People: Dancing on the Left in the 1930s. Madison, WI: Society of Dance History Scholars. pp. 3–5, 14, 17, 46, 80. ISBN 0965351947.
  2. ^ The University of the Arts University Libraries. University of the Arts Name Changes,; accessed January 11, 2014.
  3. ^ Downey, Sally A. (May 1, 2006). "N. C. Nahumck, 98, dance innovator". Philadelphia Inquirer.