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de Mille, Agnes

Agnes de Mille was born in Harlem in 1905, but moved with her family to Hollywood when she was still a young girl. After training as a dancer, she soon became a choreographer as well. In 1939, she joined the American Ballet Theatre, where she created her first ballet, BLACK RITUAL the following year. In 1942, she created RODEO for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and THREE VIRGINS AND A DEVIL for the American Ballet Theater. Also that year, she was asked by Rodgers and Hammerstein to create the dances for what would become their ground breaking musical play, OKLAHOMA! Over the next two decades, de Mille went on to choreograph such landmark Broadway musicals as ONE TOUCH OF VENUS, CAROUSEL, ALLEGRO (which she also directed), BRIGADOON, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, PAINT YOUR WAGON, GOLDILOCKS and JUNO. (She also recreated her dances for OKLAHOMA! in the 1955 film version.) Also in the late '40s she furthered her innovative style with the ballets TALLY HO and FALL RIVER LEGEND. In 1952, she published the first volume of her autobiography, Dance to the Piper; she would eventually go on to publish nine more books. One of her last public appearances was to accept a special Tony Award for OKLAHOMA! at the June 1993 ceremonies; Agnes de Mille died in October of that year.

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    The Dances of R&H

    License CAROUSEL or OKLAHOMA! and youll receive a choreography DVD with your materials featuring the legendary Agnes de Mille...

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    In OKLAHOMA!, the Dream Ballet was choreographed by Agnes de Mille. The Ballet begins when Laurey falls into a reverie. Did you know that Hammerstein's lyrics for the first draft of the song "Out of My Dreams"" ended with the stage direction that a wispy figure of a bride would glide in from the shadows? Hammerstein then wrote: ""Take it, Agnes!"""
    The birthday of choreographer Agnes de Mille, whose innovative vision created the dream ballet in OKLAHOMA! and the second act ballet in CAROUSEL. She also was the director and choreographer of ALLEGRO.