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Dance Heritage Coalition

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King (Eleanor) Papers, 1931-1991



Eleanor King, American dancer, teacher, choreographer, lecturer and writer, was born in 1906 in Middletown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of George Ilgenfritz King and Emma Kate Campbell King. She was one of the pioneers in modern dance, making her debut with the original Humphrey-Weidman Company in 1928 and eventually performing as soloist with that group.

In the early 1930's, King began to choreograph with the "Little Group," a cooperative venture with Josť Limon, Ernestine Stodelle and Letitia Ide. In 1937 she choreographed the large scale work, Icaro, with Jack Cole as Icarus.

King taught and choreographed in Seattle, Washington, from the early 1940's until 1951, when she became a faculty member at the University of Arkansas. She developed her Theatre of the Imagination there, and taught and choreographed for twenty years. When she retired, she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she was an active member of the dance community.

To pursue her growing interest, King received two Fulbrights (1967, 1976) and a Vogelstein Foundation grant (1976) for study of traditional dance and drama in Japan, Korea, Bali, Sri Lanka and Burma.

In 1978, King's book , Transformations: The Humphrey-Weidman Era, was published. She completed the manuscript for another book, The Way of Japanese Dance, and was working on a third, Transformations II: To The West.

King moved to the Actor's Home in Englewood, New Jersey, where she died on February 27,1991.

Administrative Information Table of Contents SCOPE AND CONTENT