Gerald Arpino studied modern dance with May O'Donnell in whose company he appeared in the 1950s.
He served as co-director of the Joffrey Ballet's school, the American Ballet Center, and was the leading dancer until an injury forced him to stop in 1963. By 1965 he had choreographed five works for the company, and became the Joffrey's co-director and resident choreographer. In the first twenty-five years of the company's existence, Arpino had created more than a third of all its commissioned ballets.
In 1995 Arpino moved the company to Chicago. In July 2007, he was named "Artistic Director Emeritus" as a search for a successor began. Arpino suffered from prostate cancer for seven months and eventually died on October 29, 2008.
Malcolm McDowell plays a character loosely based on Arpino in the Robert Altman film The Company, which had the participation of the Joffrey Ballet.
Joffrey Ballet founders Robert Joffrey & Gerald Arpino, early 1960s (©2)
Born of an Afghani Muslim father and an Italian Catholic mother, Robert Joffrey cofounded the Joffrey Ballet with Gerald Arpino in 1956. The company grew from a small touring group to become one of the most prominent dance troupes in US. Gerald Arpino studied ballet with Mary Ann Wells, while stationed with the Coast Guard in Seattle, Washington. Arpino first met Robert Joffrey at Wells' school. After the death of Robert Joffrey in 1988, Arpino became the Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet.
Joffrey Ballet founders Robert Joffrey (top) and Gerald Arpino (bottom) Photo Credit: Herbert Migdoll
Gerald Arpino conducts a Joffrey Ballet rehearsal, circa 1980s. Photo Credit: Herbert Migdoll
Robert Joffrey (born as Anver Bey Abdullah Jaffa Khan, 24 December 1928 (or 1930), Seattle - 25 March 1988, New York University Hospital, age 59) was the co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet with Gerald Arpino in 1956. (Photo: courtesy Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.)
Born of an Afghani Muslim father and an Italian Catholic mother, Robert Joffrey cofounded the Joffrey Ballet with Gerald Arpino in 1956. The company grew from a small station-wagon touring group to become one of the most prominent dance troupes in the U.S. In addition to serving as artistic director and chief administrator of the company, Joffrey was also a teacher and frequent choreographer. He created seventeen works for the Joffrey, including Persephone (1950), Pas de Deésses (1954), Astarte (1967), Remembrances (1973) and Postcards (1980). He also made dozens of dances for other occasions, ranging from galas to fashion shows, and from musical theater to opera.
His early training was with Mary Ann Wells in Seattle and with Alexandra Fedorova, at the School of American Ballet and the High School of the Performing Arts in New York City. He also studied modern dance with May O'Donnell and Gertrude Shurr.
During his lifetime, Joffrey received many honors, notably the Dance Magazine Award (1963), Capezio Award (1974), and the Dance/USA National Honors (1988).
Joffrey's death, due to AIDS complications, was concealed—apparently at his behest—until the publication of Sasha Anawalt's book on the Joffrey company in 1996.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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