Annabelle Gamson

Annabelle Gamson’s performances of Isadora Duncan’s choreography were remarkable both in their own right and for the fact that Gamson performed them in her forties, at an age when most dancers chose to retire. Gamson began studying dance at age five and attended both the High School of Music and Art and the Professional Children’s School in New York. She danced with Katherine Dunham and in 1953 she performed with Anna Sokolow on Broadway and on television. She married in 1958 and left the dance world, briefly directing operas in Europe before settling in Westchester to raise a family. She returned to dance at the American Theater Laboratory in New York in 1974 with a mixture of her own choreography and several famed pieces by Duncan: Water Study, Five Waltzes, Dance of the Furies, and Etude. Duncan’s work had often been thought of as improvisational, but Gamson’s treatment of the pieces showcased Duncan’s craftsmanship, making her work relevant to a new generation. Gamson went on to revive interest in the work of German expressionist choreographer Mary Wigman and American modern dancer Eleanor King though her solo dance performances, continuing her dance career into her late sixties.

Topics: Dance
1 Comment

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I remember when Annabelle re-entered the dance world. I was a young dancer in my early 20's, studying at the Nikolais Studio, which at that time was located in The Space for Innovative Development in the Arts, on W. 36th Street in NYC. Annabelle came to class daily, flexing, extening, bouncing, leaping and whirling through the air right alongside us "young'uns." When she began to perform Isadora Duncan's solo, I marveled to see her passion, strength, and consummate command of the stage. In her strength and humility, she became for me a model of artistic maturity.

Date of Birth
Birthplace

Bronx, NY
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Annabelle Gamson ." (Viewed on September 22, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/gamson-annabelle>.

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