Gemze de Lappe

Gemze de Lappe
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Gemze de Lappe (born February 28, 1922, Portsmouth, Virginia)[1] is an American dancer who worked very closely with Agnes de Mille and was frequently partnered by de Mille's favorite male dancer, James Mitchell.

Originally trained by Irma Duncan and Michel Fokine, de Lappe began her career in Fokine's company. Her Broadway musical theatre performance credits include Simon of Legree in the original production of The King and I (also in the film version), Paint Your Wagon (Donaldson Award winner), Juno, and The American Dance Machine. She also appeared in the original West End and first national companies of Oklahoma!, dancing the iconic role of Laurey in the 'Dream Ballet'. In the early 1950s, she briefly formed part of a dance team with Dean Crane.[2] De Lappe's long concert dance career included engagements with American Ballet Theatre and the Agnes de Mille Dance Theatre. For several years, she was a professor of dance at Smith College, and has held a number of visiting appointments since her nominal retirement. In 1989, Niagara University awarded her an honorary doctorate.

De Lappe remains active as a choreographer and teacher, but is especially well known for reconstructing the work of de Mille, Isadora Duncan, and Jerome Robbins. She recreated de Mille's choreography for the 1979 Broadway revival of Oklahoma! and choreographed Abe Lincoln in Illinois on Broadway. De Lappe regularly travels the country, recreating the original choreography for such shows as The King and I, Oklahoma!, Brigadoon, and Carousel for various professional, regional, and educational theatre companies. In Spring 2011, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts presented an accurate recreation of the original Broadway production of Oklahoma! with the original choreography recreated by De Lappe.[3]

In 2007, she was awarded Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre.[4] In 2012, she received the Martha Hill Dance Fund Lifetime Achievement Award.

References[edit]
Jump up ^ "Gemze de Lappe Biography (1922-)". Gemze de Lappe Biography (1922-). Retrieved 2 September 2011.
Jump up ^ "Via the Grapevine", Dance Magazine 24.9 (September 1950): 8.
Jump up ^ UNCSA. "UNCSA Oklahoma!". UNCSA Oklahoma!. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
Jump up ^ Broadway.com. "2007 Tony Honors". 2007 Tony Honors. Retrieved 4 September 2011.

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Publications

The Enduring Essence: the Technique and Choreography of Isadora Duncan, Remembered and Reconstructed by Gemze de Lappe. Introduction to Duncan Dances, Filmmakers of Philadelphia. Calvin De Frens Corp. 1967 15 minutes. (215) 763-3400 or 679-3388

Affiliations

Smith College Dance Department

Isadora Duncan Commemorative (Centenary) Dance Company

Videos

Collection Title Date
The Collection of Adrienne Ramm Hortense Kooluris Memorial 2007-10-01
Sylvia Gold's YouTube channel Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company performs Brahms 7
Sylvia Gold's YouTube channel Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company performs Three Graces
Sylvia Gold's YouTube channel Gemze de Lappe performs Flames of the Heart
Sylvia Gold's YouTube channel Gemze, Hortense, Julia, and Sylvia perform Cymbals
Sylvia Gold's YouTube channel Gemze, Sylvia, and Julia perform Dance of the Furies
Sylvia Gold's YouTube channel Gemze performs Water Study
Sylvia Gold's YouTube channel Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company performs Ave Maria

Related items in the Archives

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Photos > Gemze de Lappe

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Irma Duncan — Apr 23, 1937

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Riverside Dance Festival — Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company — May 26, 1977

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company — Oct 23, 1977

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Duncan Dance Festival — Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company — 1978

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Riverside Dance Festival — Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company — Jan 05, 1978

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Anita Zahn Memorial Celebration — Nov 05, 1995

Related references

Kisselgoff, Anna. "Dance: Duncan Works Restaged," New York Times, January 7, 1978, p. 13 (need subscription to read entire article).