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DANCE WORLD MOURNS 'AN ANCHOR AND A LIGHT'
By Dance Insider Staff
Copyright 2002 The Dance Insider
NEW YORK -- Stephanie
Reinhart, who for nine years shared leadership of the most important
modern dance festival in the world as co-director of the American
Dance Festival with her husband Charles Reinhart, passed away Monday
morning at Mount Sinai Hospital at the age of 58. The cause was
leukemia, said Mr. Reinhart.
Reinhart, co-director of the American Dance Festival, passed
away September 23, 2002. Bernard Thomas photo courtesy ADF.
While Mr. Reinhart had
no further comment at presstime, Carlton Midyette, of the ADF board
of directors, said Monday, "Modern Dance and the arts in general
have lost a friend and a powerful ally today. She was at the peak
of her career and abilities as a mother, wife and all things cultural,
Ms. Reinhart, who joined
the ADF in 1977, recently was honored with a Chevalier in the Order
of Arts and Letters by France for her contributions to dance. Also
this year, she won an Emmy award as executive producer of the heralded
PBS series "Free to Dance," a chronicle of the Black dance experience
As co-director of the
ADF, Ms. Reinhart played a critical role in nurturing the development
of modern dance in America, and, indeed, around the world.
was both an anchor and a guiding light for the dance field," said
LaRue Allen, executive director of the Trisha Brown Dance Company,
an ADF regular. "The breadth of her work was immense and the depth
of her concern for the artists she worked with seemed limitless.
She will be missed."
During her long association
with the ADF, Ms. Reinhart was also instrumental in discovering
artists from abroad and exposing them to American audiences, as
well as nurturing nascent modern dance communities in Russia. Her
travels to France with Charles Reinhart in 1982, at the invitation
of the Festival of Dance in Aix en Provence, resulted in a pioneering
festival of French modern dance at the ADF. In 1980, Ms. Reinhart
made her first of many trips to Asia in search of dance companies
and dance artists to introduce to American audiences at the ADF.
The major troupes that she and Charles Reinhart brought to the U.S.
for the first time include the Japanese Butoh company Dai Rakuda
Kan, in 1982, and the Guandong Modern Dance Company, China's first
modern dance company, in 1991.
Ms. Reinhart played an
integral role in the initiation and development of ADF's vast international
programs, including its creation of mini-ADFs in Russia and elsewhere
abroad and the Festival's International Choreographers' Commissioning
Program, which began in the 1980s and was responsible for bringing
over 75 artists from around the world to study at and create new
work at the ADF. The ADF thus became not just a locus for American
modern dance choreographes and students, but for an international
community of modern dance choreographers hungry for the collegial
atmosphere of the ADF. In 1993, she was awarded a Fulbright research
grant to study the history of modern dance in Argentina.
Her work in dance began
long before her association with the ADF, and extended beyond it.
In 1996, the Reinharts were made co-artistic directors for dance
at the Kennedy Center. In 1969, as program administrator for the
National Endowment for the Arts's Dance and Education programs,
Ms. Reinhart worked on the planning and development of the Artists-in-the
Schools Program. In 1975, the NEA published Ms. Reinhart's article
on sculptor Ruth Asawa and her community art program in San Francisco.
Ms. Reinhart also contributed to the books "East Meets West in Dance:
Voices in the Cross-Cultural Dialogue" and "Dancing Female: Lives
and Issues of women in Contemporary Dance."
An honors graduate of
the University of Wisconsin in cultural history, Ms. Reinhart received
a fellowship for graduate studies in American literary and cultural
history from George Washington University and attended the Harvard
University Summer Institute in Arts Administration.
In addition to her husband,
Charles L. Reinhart, Ms. Reinhart is survived by her daughter, the
dancer and singer Ariane Malia Reinhart, her mother Florence Keren,
and three stepsons: Dr. Adam Reinhart of Honolulu, Taylor Reinhart
of Los Angeles, CA, and Scott Reinhart of Geneseo, NY, as well as
three step grandchildren: Chelsea, Taylor and Jeremy Reinhart.
The American Dance Festival
has established an ADF Stephanie Reinhart Fund for New Works and
Scholarships. A celebration of Stephanie Reinhart's life will take
place in a few months, said a festival spokesperson.
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