Louis, Murray

Louis, Murray,

1926–2016, American modern dancer and choreographer, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., as Murray Louis Fuchs. He served in naval intelligence in San Francisco during World War II, then stayed in the city after his discharge (1946) to study modern dance. In Hanya Holm's summer classes at Colorado College he met Alwin NikolaisNikolais, Alwin
, 1910–93, American dancer and choreographer, b. Southington, Conn. Nikolais became director of his own dance company in New York City in 1949. He made ingenious use of color, lighting, sound, and innovative costumes as integral parts of such abstract and
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, who became his professional and life partner. Louis moved to New York (1949) and joined the Nikolais Dance Theater, then created the Murray Louis Dance Company (1953). The two companies later merged (1989) as Murray Louis and Nikolais Dance. Known for energetic, often humorous choreography marked by isolated movements and quick directional changes, Louis created more than 100 works, among them Junk Dances (1964); Vivace (1978), choreographed for Rudolf NureyevNureyev, Rudolf
, 1938–93, Russian ballet dancer, b. near Irkutsk, Siberian USSR (now Russia). Nureyev studied in Ufa and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and in 1958 he became a soloist with the Kirov Ballet. In 1961 he defected from the Soviet Union while on tour in Paris.
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; and Alone (1994), a memorial to the late Nikolais.


See his essays in Inside Dance (1980) and On Dance (1982); Nik and Murray (documentary, 1986).

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