Yarborough, Lavinia Williams

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1916-07-02
Death 1989-07-19

Biographical notes:

Lavinia Williams (1916-1989) was an African-American dancer, choreographer and teacher. Williams was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and later resided in Brooklyn, New York and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She danced with Katherine Dunham's company as well as appeared in various Broadway musicals such as "Showboat" and "Cabin in the Sky." In 1953, Williams was invited by the Haitian government to establish a dance school in Haiti. She accepted the invitation, and founded the Haitian Institute of Classic and Folklore Dance of which she was the director.

Williams also founded the Ballets d'Haiti dance company. She would later divide her time between Haiti and the United States. During the latter years of her life (in the 1980s), she taught at New York University and the Alvin Ailey Dance School. Like many African-American dancers of her generation, Williams had begun to receive recognition from the younger generation of dancers, scholars, and the general public. The dance tradition continued through Sara Yarborough, Williams' daughter, who was a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

From the description of Lavinia Williams collection, 1954-1983. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122596529

Lavinia Williams (1916-1989) was an African-American dancer, choreographer and teacher. Williams was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and later resided in Brooklyn, New York and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She danced with Katherine Dunham's company as well as appeared in various Broadway musicals such as "Showboat" and "Cabin in the Sky." In 1953, Williams was invited by the Haitian government to establish a dance school in Haiti. She accepted the invitation, and founded the Haitian Institute of Classic and Folklore Dance of which she was the director.

Williams also founded the Ballets d'Haiti dance company. She would later divide her time between Haiti and the United States. During the latter years of her life (in the 1980s), she taught at New York University and the Alvin Ailey Dance School. Like many African-American dancers of her generation, Williams had begun to receive recognition from the younger generation of dancers, scholars, and the general public. The dance tradition continued through Sara Yarborough, Williams' daughter, who was a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

From the guide to the Lavinia Williams collection, 1954-1983, (The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.)

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Information

Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6bz68dj
Ark ID:
w6bz68dj
SNAC ID:
52279907

Subjects:

  • Folk dancing
  • Women dancers
  • Dance
  • African American dance
  • Folk dancing--Haiti
  • Dance, Black
  • Ballet dancers
  • Dance companies--Haiti
  • Dance companies
  • Ballet dancers--Haiti
  • Dance--Haiti

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • Haiti (as recorded)