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Jewogle - Eliot Feld

Eliot Feld

Eliot Feld

Eliot Feld (born July 5, 1942) is an American modern ballet choreographer, performer and director.

Life and career

Feld was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Alice (née Posner), a travel agent, and Benjamin Noah Feld, an attorney. Feld attended the High School of Performing Arts in New York and studied at the School of American Ballet and the New Dance Group, as well as with Richard Thomas and Donald McKayle. He performed as a child in George Balanchine's original production of The Nutcracker as the prince; and later with the companies of Mary Anthony, Pearl Lang, and Sophie Maslow.

At sixteen he appeared on Broadway in West Side Story and was cast as Baby-John in the movie version of the musical. Feld was sick with pneumonia during the filming of "Cool" in West Side Story, one of the hardest dances in the film. By twenty-five he broke away from American Ballet Theatre to form his own company, American Ballet Company. Feld used his new company to explore a variety of dance genres. He appeared on television on The Garry Moore Show and The Ed Sullivan Show. His other Broadway credits include: I Can Get It for You Wholesale and Fiddler on the Roof.

Feld was inspired by Jewish material along with the influence of Martha Graham from his studies with her. His work has always been within the realm of ballet and he has always "loved the point shoe". His works are varied and contain anything from off beat music to aerobic excercises that have included somersaults, push-ups, sprints, leaps, and calisthenics.

Feld has choreographed 140 ballets since 1967. His three most recent ballets premiered at the Joyce Theater in New York on March 25, 2009: Dust, Radiance and The Spaghetti Ballet.

Feld works have been performed by: American Ballet Company, American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Ballet Tech, Boston Ballet, Feld Ballets/NY, The Joffrey Ballet, John Curry Skating Company, Kids Dance, London Festival Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, New York City Ballet, The New York City Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, The Royal Swedish Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, among others.

In 1974, Feld began a ballet company now known as Ballet Tech. Today, Ballet Tech’s activities include MANDANCE PROJECT, the tuition-free New York City Public School for Dance, and Kids Dance, a pre-professional children’s group. Since its founding in 1978, the Ballet Tech school has auditioned 649,798 New York City public school students, and provided classes for 17,240 children.

Feld works in an atmosphere between modern dance and classical ballet. He uses aspects from both styles and continues to fuse them together in his work. " The down of one, the up of the other - both beauties attracted me, I think I've spent my choreographic life trying in some way to reconcile, cope, deal with these two elements."

In addition, with Cora Cahan, Feld founded The Joyce Theater. Feld was also instrumental in the creation of The Lawrence A. Wien Center for Dance & Theater at 890 Broadway in NYC.

Feld has been honored with numerous awards, including The John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (1969), The Dance Magazine Award (1990), and an Honorary Doctorate degree from Juilliard (1991).

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