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Lillian Moore by John Linquist Lillian Moore at Jacob's Pillow, ca. 1951. Moore's dance training and performing career laid the foundation for her influential work as a dance historian. (Photo by John Lindquist, copyright Harvard Theatre Collection, from Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Archives.)


Dancer, teacher, historian, and author, Lillian Moore (1911-1967) was born in Chase City, Virginia. She received her dance training at the Peabody Conservatory, Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet, as well as from various private teachers. She danced for several years at the "Met," with George Balanchine's American Ballet, and the Cincinnati Summer Opera Company; she also appeared in various USO shows during World War II. In 1938 she published her first book, Artists of the Dance; this was followed by numerous articles that by the 1950s established her as the leading American dance historian. She wrote criticism for the New York Herald-Tribune from 1950 to 1965 and briefly served as acting curator of the New York Public Library's Dance Collection. She taught for several years at the High School of Performing Arts and Robert Joffrey's American Ballet Center. Moore was one of the first American dance scholars. Her research was thorough, her writing accurate. She had an insatiable curiosity about the American dance past and rescued numerous figures from oblivion.

Learn more in Lillian Moore by Lynn Matluck Brooks.