Talley Beatty (1918-1995)

Posted in 80 Faces, 2013.

Dancer and choreographer Talley Beatty is an iconic figure in American modern dance. In his early career, he danced with the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, collaborated with experimental filmmaker Maya Deren, and explored African-American themes in his work during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Among his many career accomplishments, Mr. Beatty received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1993.

In today’s 80 Faces, former ADF scholarship student and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member Hope Boykin and choreographer and dancer Duane Cyrus speak about their pivotal experiences working with Mr. Beatty on his classic piece Road of the Phoebe Snow (1959). Restaged on the Newark Dance Theatre and brought to ADF as part of its Black Tradition in Modern Dance program in 1989 and 1991, Road of the Phoebe Snow provided Ms. Boykin and Mr. Cyrus with life-changing moments in their careers.