Glen Tetley
Glen Tetley was an American ballet and modern dancer as well as a choreographer who mixed ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 and modern dance
Modern dance
Modern dance is a dance form developed in the early 20th century. Although the term Modern dance has also been applied to a category of 20th Century ballroom dances, Modern dance as a term usually refers to 20th century concert dance.-Intro:...

 to create a new way of looking at dance, and is best known for his piece Pierrot Lunaire.


Glenford Andrew Tetley, Jr. was born on February 3, 1926 in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

. While in medical school, Tetley found a passion for dance. After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in 1946, Tetley moved to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 to study dance.

He began his career as a dancer, dancing in Hanya Holm's
Hanya Holm
Hanya Holm is known as one of the “Big Four” founders of American modern dance...

Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 production of Kiss Me Kate
Kiss Me Kate
Kiss Me Kate was a British sitcom that ran from 1998 until 2000. It followed the everyday life of a woman counsellor, Kate , who must not only manage her clients' problems, but must also help her neighbours and unsuccessful business partner, Douglas, played by Chris Langham. Amanda Holden played...

in 1948 and Juno in 1959, as well as with the New York City Opera Ballet, John Butler's American Dance Theatre, and the Joffrey Ballet
Joffrey Ballet
The Joffrey Ballet is a dance company in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1956. From 1995 to 2004, the company was known as The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. The company regularly performs classical ballets including Romeo & Juliet and The Nutcracker, while balancing those classics with pioneering modern...

 where he was an original member. Later he danced with American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre , based in New York City, was one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century. It continues as a leading dance company in the world today...

 and Jerome Robbins's Ballets: USA
Jerome Robbins
Jerome Robbins was an American theater producer, director, and choreographer known primarily for Broadway Theater and Ballet/Dance, but who also occasionally directed films and directed/produced for television. His work has included everything from classical ballet to contemporary musical theater...

. Tetley's choreographic style rises from his experiences with modern dance teachers like Hanya Holm
Hanya Holm
Hanya Holm is known as one of the “Big Four” founders of American modern dance...

 and Martha Graham
Martha Graham
Martha Graham was an American modern dancer and choreographer whose influence on dance has been compared with the influence Picasso had on modern visual arts, Stravinsky had on music, or Frank Lloyd Wright had on architecture.She danced and choreographed for over seventy years...

 as well as his time with ballet teachers such as Antony Tudor
Antony Tudor
Antony Tudor was an English ballet choreographer, teacher and dancer.-Biography:Tudor, born William Cook, discovered dance accidentally. He began dancing professionally with Marie Rambert in 1928, becoming general assistant for her Ballet Club the next year...

 and Margaret Craske. Because of this mix in dance education, Tetley's choreography is a distinct blend between ballet and modern dance. Tetley wanted to achieve a mix of "modern dance's visceral earthiness with the ethereal lyricism of classical ballet".
Mary Hinkson, a former dancer from the original Martha Graham company, has assisted Glen Tetley all over the world. Her knowledge of the Graham technique helped shaping ballet dancers into Tetley's choreography.


What made Glen Tetley stand out among other choreographers was his ability to seamlessly mix ballet and modern dance. Tetley choreographed over 50 ballets for some of the world's most famous dance companies. Tetley made his choreographic premier in 1962 with Pierrot Lunaire which he choreographed for his newly formed chamber company. Tetley based this piece on music of the same name by composer Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg
Arnold Schoenberg was an Austrian composer, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School...

. Though this piece was one of his first choreographic ventures, it is heralded by many as one of his best and most iconic. It is also here where audiences first saw his iconic mix of ballet and modern dance. Other works choreographed by Tetley include: Contredances, Gemini, Odalisque, Ricercare, Le Sacre du Printemps, Sargasso, Sphinx, and Voluntaries Tetley moved to Europe and became the Artistic Director for the Netherlands Dance Theatre in 1969 and the Stuttgart Ballet
Stuttgart Ballet
Stuttgart Ballet was the first major German ballet company. It rose to fame in the 1960s under Artistic Director John Cranko. The company, which is renowned for presentations of full-length narrative ballets including Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew, John Neumeier's Die...

 where he also danced from 1974–1976, before returning to North America to work with the National Ballet of Canada
National Ballet of Canada
The National Ballet of Canada is Canada's largest ballet troupe. It was founded by Celia Franca in 1951 and is based in Toronto, Ontario. Based upon the unity of Canadian trained dancers in the tradition and style of England's Royal Ballet, The National is regarded as one of the premier classical...

. While in Europe and Canada, Tetley choreographed many new pieces such as Alice in 1986 for the National Ballet of Canada. At the time of his departure, many in the American dance community would either train in ballet or modern dance, but never both. Some believe that because of this rigidity and inability to accept the fusion of modern dance and ballet, Tetley moved to Europe where the atmosphere was more artistically free.


Throughout his choreography Tetley displayed "fervid intensity, sinuous nonstop propulsion, and voluptuous physicality". While Tetley does not intentionally create abstract pieces, he uses his movement in order to "convey his meditations on themes from myth, music, theater, and literature".


On January 26, 2007, Tetley died in Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, aged 80, following a battle with skin cancer
Skin cancer
Skin neoplasms are skin growths with differing causes and varying degrees of malignancy. The three most common malignant skin cancers are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma, each of which is named after the type of skin cell from which it arises...

. Dancers, such as Karen Kain
Karen Kain
Karen Alexandria Kain, CC is a retired Canadian ballet dancer, and currently the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada.-Early Training:...

, a member of the National Ballet of Canada
National Ballet of Canada
The National Ballet of Canada is Canada's largest ballet troupe. It was founded by Celia Franca in 1951 and is based in Toronto, Ontario. Based upon the unity of Canadian trained dancers in the tradition and style of England's Royal Ballet, The National is regarded as one of the premier classical...

, remember Tetley as a choreographer who had a "ferocious demand for total artistic commitment", while David Allan recalls that Tetley "fired up your imagination and made you look at yourself differently". Among the members of his chamber company was Christopher Bruce
Christopher Bruce
Christopher Bruce is a choreographer and performer born in Leicester on 3 October 1945. He was Artistic Director of the Rambert Dance Company until 2002....

, the lead in his signature work, Pierrot Lunaire who cites Tetley as one of his inspirations.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.