de Mille, Agnes

▪ American dancer and choreographer
in full  Agnes George de Mille , de Mille also spelled  DeMille 
born Sept. 18, 1905, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died Oct. 7, 1993, New York City

      American dancer and choreographer who further developed the narrative aspect of dance and made innovative use of American themes, folk dances, and physical idioms in her choreography of musical plays and ballets.

      Her father was the playwright William Churchill DeMille, her mother the daughter of the economist Henry George (George, Henry), and her uncle the film director Cecil B. DeMille (DeMille, Cecil B.). She spent her youth (from 1914) in Hollywood and earned a B.A. degree in English from the University of California, Los Angeles. She also learned dance. After moving to New York City, she toured the United States and Europe (1929–40), giving concerts of her own character sketches in mime-dance. She created her first major roles in ballet with the Ballet Rambert, performing in works by Antony Tudor (Tudor, Antony), and later studied modern dance.

      Rodeo (1942), one of her most important ballets, was created for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. The first ballet to include tap dancing, it used distinctively American gestures—bronco-riding and steer-roping movements. Most of de Mille's other ballets were choreographed for New York City's Ballet Theatre, which she joined in 1940. Her works for that company include Fall River Legend (1948; based on the story of Lizzie Borden (Borden, Lizzie)), The Harvest According (1952), and Three Virgins and a Devil (1941).

      De Mille's equally outstanding career as a choreographer of musicals (musical) began in 1929 with The Black Crook. In 1943 she choreographed the dances for Oklahoma!. In that Broadway musical, dance not only added to the dramatic atmosphere but also, for the first time in American theatrical history, was instrumental in advancing the plot. Among the other musicals for which she staged the dances were One Touch of Venus (1943), Carousel (1945), Brigadoon (1947), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), Paint Your Wagon (1951), The Girl in Pink Tights (1954), and 110 in the Shade (1963). She also arranged dances for the films Romeo and Juliet (1936) and Oklahoma! (1955), directed plays, and choreographed television programs.

      The recipient of many prizes and awards, de Mille continued to choreograph ballets for the American Ballet Theatre, including A Rose for Miss Emily (1971), Texas Fourth (1976), and The Informer (1988). Among her several books are Dance to the Piper (1952), To a Young Dancer (1962), The Book of the Dance (1963), Lizzie Borden: A Dance of Death (1968), and Speak to Me, Dance with Me (1973). She also wrote two autobiographies, And Promenade Home (1958) and Where the Wings Grow (1977). Her later books include her controversial biography of fellow dancer-choreographer Martha Graham (Graham, Martha) entitled Martha (1991).

Additional Reading
Carol Easton, No Intermissions: The Life of Agnes De Mille (1996), traces her life and work.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • de Mille, Agnes George — ▪ 1994       U.S. choreographer (b. Sept. 18, 1905, New York, N.Y. d. Oct. 7, 1993, New York), changed the face of American dance by incorporating American subject matter and elements of folk dancing into her ballets, and she revolutionized… …   Universalium

  • De Mille,Agnes George — De Mille (də mĭlʹ), Agnes George. 1905 1993. American choreographer who introduced innovative dance to a wide public audience with her choreography for Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945), and other musicals. * * * …   Universalium

  • de Mille, Agnes (George) — born Sept. 18, 1905, New York, N.Y., U.S. died Oct. 7, 1993, New York City U.S. dancer and choreographer. She graduated from UCLA, moved back to New York, and soon was touring the U.S. with her own mime dance concerts (1929–40). In her… …   Universalium

  • De Mille, Agnes (George) — (18 sep. 1905, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.–7 oct. 1993, ciudad de Nueva York). Bailarina y coreógrafa estadounidense. Se graduó de UCLA, regresó a Nueva York y pronto realizó giras por EE.UU. con sus propios conciertos de danza mímica (1929–40). En… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Agnes De Mille — en el ballet Three Virgins and a Devil, musica de Ottorino Respighi, coreografía de Agnes de Mille, Majestic Theatre, Broadway. 1941 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Agnes George de Mille — Agnes de Mille (* 18. September 1905 in Harlem; † 7. Oktober 1993 in New York) war eine US amerikanische Tänzerin und Choreografin. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Auszeichnungen 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Agnes de Mille — (* 18. September 1905 in Harlem; † 7. Oktober 1993 in New York) war eine US amerikanische Tänzerin und Choreografin. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mīlle — Mille (Latein: Tausend) steht für: umgangssprachlich Tausend (Mille wird teilweise falsch für Million benutzt) Mille ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Pierre Mille (1864 1941), französischer Schriftsteller und Journalist Agnes de Mille… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Agnes de Mille — Infobox actor name = Agnes de Mille imagesize = 180px birthname = Agnes George de Mille birthdate = birth date|1905|09|18 birthplace = New York City, New York, USA deathdate = death date and age|1993|10|07|1905|09|18 deathplace = New York City,… …   Wikipedia

  • Agnes de Mille — noun United States dancer and choreographer who introduced formal dance to a wide audience (1905 1993) • Syn: ↑de Mille, ↑Agnes George de Mille • Instance Hypernyms: ↑dancer, ↑professional dancer, ↑terpsichorean, ↑choreographer * * * …   Useful english dictionary

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