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.