Kidd, Michael

Kidd, Michael (b. Milton Greenwald)

(1919–  ) choreographer, dancer, producer-director; born in New York City. While in high school, he attended a performance by a modern dance group that inspired him to take dance lessons. Although he went on to City College of New York and studied chemical engineering, by the end of his third year he dropped out to dedicate himself entirely to dance. He attended the School of American Ballet and made his stage debut in the chorus of Max Reinhardt's production of The Eternal Road (1937). He toured for three years with Ballet Caravan (1937–40) and began to dance leading parts with the Dance Players (1941–42) and the Ballet Theatre (1942–47). His first original ballet, On Stage!, premiered in 1945, and this led to his becoming choreographer of the Broadway musical, Finian's Rainbow (1947). From then on he enjoyed a series of successes as choreographer for such stage musicals as Love Life (1948), Guys and Dolls (1950), and Can-Can (1953), eventually earning five Tony Awards for his dynamic and inventive dances. He also choreographed such movies as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). He broadened his scope to acting and dancing in the movie It's Always Fair Weather (1955), directing the Danny Kaye comedy film, Merry Andrew (1958), and producing and staging as well as choreographing the musical L'il Abner (1956); in later years he composed the choreography for such movies as Star (1968) and Hello, Dolly! (1969).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Previously featured authors include: John Bayne, Stuart Kidd, Michael Kreyling, Noel Polk, Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, Elizabeth Spencer, Lois Welch, and Susan Wood.