Louis, Murray

Louis, Murray, 1926–2016, American modern dancer and choreographer, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., as Murray Louis Fuchs. He served in naval intelligence in San Francisco during World War II, then stayed in the city after his discharge (1946) to study modern dance. In Hanya Holm's summer classes at Colorado College he met Alwin Nikolais, who became his professional and life partner. Louis moved to New York (1949) and joined the Nikolais Dance Theater, then created the Murray Louis Dance Company (1953). The two companies later merged (1989) as Murray Louis and Nikolais Dance. Known for energetic, often humorous choreography marked by isolated movements and quick directional changes, Louis created more than 100 works, among them Junk Dances (1964); Vivace (1978), choreographed for Rudolf Nureyev; and Alone (1994), a memorial to the late Nikolais.

See his essays in Inside Dance (1980) and On Dance (1982); Nik and Murray (documentary, 1986).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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