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Agnes De Mille
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    (September 18, 1905-October 7, 1993)
    Born in Harlem, New York
    Niece of film director Cecil B. DeMille
    Noted ballets included ‘Three Virgins and a Devil’ (1934), ‘Rodeo’ (1942) and ‘Fall River Legend’ (1948)
    Choreographed the Broadway shows ‘Oklahoma!’ (1943), ‘Carousel’ (1945), ‘Brigadoon’ (1947), ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ (1949) and ‘Paint Your Wagon’ (1951)
    She turned to dance only after being told she was ‘not pretty enough’ to be an actress.
    Thanks to family connections, she got a job choreographing the movie ‘Cleopatra’ (1934), but her dances were cut from the final film.
    With the exception of ‘Oklahoma!’ she was rarely asked to choreograph the film versions of her Broadway successes.
    She continued choreographing almost until her death, but most of her later works have fallen out of the ballet repertoire.
    She revolutionized musical theater by using choreography to convey the emotions of the characters and enhance the plot.
    Her two ‘Omnibus’ TV specials, ‘The Art of Ballet’ and ‘The Art of Choreography,’ brought serious dance to the attention of a broader public (1956).
    She came back after suffering a stroke on stage (1975).
    After her stroke, she switched hands to become a lefty.
    She was married to Walter Prude for 45 years until his death.

Credit: C. Fishel

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