Thursday, November 29, 2012

On the Death of Lois Bewley

Today's New York Times ran an article by Bruce Weber announcing the death of Lois Bewley at the age of 78. The headline described her as a "multifaceted ballerina;" but, for her many talents, she never really "made it big" in the dance world, even in New York, where she was based and seemed to accommodate just about anyone with his/her own ideas of what a dance concert should be. Nevertheless, Bewley was important to me. She was one of the members of the First Chamber Dance Quartet, whose "chamber" approach to choreography was refreshingly innovative. Mind you, my opinion is biased, because that ensemble was one of the first I reviewed when I was just beginning to build up my chops as a dance critic. They were the first group I ever interviewed, and I shall always remember Bewley because she did almost all of the talking. This is not a criticism, just a recollection that she was the member of the group who could put her thoughts into words as readily as she could put them into choreography.

In many respect the world of dance is a bit like the Tao. Those who know it do not speak, and those who speak of it do not know. Bewley spoke as one who knew, and her dancing and choreography warranted her knowledge. I thought I had forgotten about her until I read Weber's report this morning.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have only just discovered that she has died whilst writing a Christmas Card to her and Toutouque (her teenage 'son') We met in 72/3 when shooting in Bronte Country, in Yorkshire, England for her version of Wuthering Heights ... and have stayed in touch ever since ... and were due to meet up again in 2013.

As W. H. Auden wrote ...

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.

She was SO very special ... fond memories!


If anyone knows where she is buried, please let me know as I still want to visit her in 2013