Sunday, August 11, 2013

Todd Bolender

Ballet dancer Todd Bolender moved to New York City to study theatrical dance about the same time soon-to-be-famous choreographer George Balanchine arrived in the United States.  Balanchine supervised Todd at the emerging School of American Ballet. 
A versatile dancer, Todd danced from 1936 to 1972, an unusually long period. 
Todd also choreographed for musical theater, opera and television. He choreographed the opera Samson and Delilah for which the dancing received a better review than the singing.  
In 1981, he was appointed Artistic Director of Kansas City Ballet, and held that position until 1996. In 2006, he was notified that he had been granted the Dance Magazine Award for his lifetime achievement in dance. 

To make this photograph, I visited Todd at his residence. As I loaded film into my camera, I asked if his preference was to stand or sit. When I looked up, he had taken a seat on this bench, and he looked so comfortable and relaxed that is where we stayed.
The Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity opened in 2011, and is the new home for Kansas City Ballet and the Ballet School.

Photograph copyright Larry F. Levenson. All rights reserved.

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