Weidman, Charles

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Dancer, choreographer, teacher.

From the description of Papers, ca. 1908-1975. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122519030

Biography/History

Saida Gerrard: b. April 9, 1923, Toronto, Canada. d. May 4, 2005, Los Angeles, California.

Saida Gerrard was a performer, choreographer, student and teacher of modern dance. She grew up in Toronto, Canada in a family of Russian Jewish immigrants. Her parents were amateur musicians who exposed her to music and dance at an early age. As a child, she studied music and dance at the Hambourg Conservatory of Music in Toronto and at the Toronto Conservatory of Music, including Dalcroze Eurythmics with Madeleine Boss Lasserre. She would go on to study dance and perform with some of the greatest individuals in modern dance, including Vilzak-Scholler, Margaret Craske, Hanya Holm, Louis Horst, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Martha Graham, Fe Alf, Amy Sternberg, and Benjamin Zemach.

In the late 1930s Gerrard moved to New York where she studied on scholarship with Hanya Holm at the Mary Wigman School. From 1943-1948, she studied modern dance techniques with Martha Graham. In 1945, she joined the Charles Weidman Company. During this time she studied composition with Weidman, Louis Horst and Doris Humphrey. She was a principal dancer with the Charles Weidman Company on three national and five East Coast tours. Gerrard performed with Hanya Holm and Weidman for a festival at the New York City Center. She was also a principal dancer and soloist at festivals in Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. In addition to her dance performances she served as the Assistant Choreographer and soloist with the New York City Opera in performances of Aida, Traviata, and Love of Three Oranges . From 1945-1953, she frequently returned to Canada to serve as a guest artist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Gerrard taught the Graham Technique in New York from 1945 until 1950. From 1950-1953, she taught at the Humphrey-Weidman School.

In 1953, Gerrard moved to Los Angeles with her American pianist husband Aube Tzerko. While in Los Angeles, Gerrard taught masters classes and gave lectures, demonstrations, and workshops at USC, UCLA, the Idyllwild Arts Festival, Los Angeles City College, the University of Judaism, Pasadena City College, as well as, a variety of other colleges and high schools throughout Southern California. She also gave performances and lectures on Hebraic dance and modern dance with Jewish themes at many of the Los Angeles area Jewish temples. From 1953-1960, Gerrard performed with the Saida Gerrard Theater Dance Company for the Long Beach Symphony, the Idyllwild Arts Festival, Bovard Auditorium at USC Schoenberg Hall at UCLA and at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. She choreographed and performed the operas The Consul at USC, Secret of Suzanne at the University of Judaism, and Hansel and Gretel for three consecutive years at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA.

In 1960, Gerrard began teaching at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. She was the Director of the Saida Gerrard School of Contemporary Dance, where she taught technique and choreography for adults, children, actors, and singers, from 1957-1970. From 1960-1964, Gerrard toured the West Coast with her Saida Gerrard Theatre Dance Company and performed twenty-seven concerts under the management of Columbia Artists. She choreographed and performed with a group of thirty dancers. Her company performed New Exodus with symphony and choir at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, and at the Shrine Auditorium and Wilshire-Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. She choreographed Don Giovanni in 1964, for the first season of the Los Angeles Opera, which was then called the Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera, at the new Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. From 1965-1969, Gerrard continued to perform and choreograph her works such as Marais and Miranda at the Morgan Theater in Santa Monica; Pimpinone at Royce Hall, UCLA; and The Bartered Bride at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. In 1973, she staged two Los Angeles performances, The Measure Taken by Bertolt Brecht at the Mark Taper Forum and The Golem at the Gindi Auditorium. The following year she staged sixteen performances as the Director of Dance for Theater Arts Program of Los Angeles. In 1975, Gerrard received a grant from the California Arts Commission, which she used to stage a performance of Ancestral Memories, music by Aaron Copland, with the Theater Dance Company at the Gindi Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Gerrard began working in Aspen, Colorado in 1971. She taught, studied, danced, and staged performances there until 1977. She choreographed contemporary opera and works by Mozart, Stravinsky, and resident composers; attended seminars at the Institute for the Humanities; and conducted summer workshops for Colorado Mountain College. In 1971, Gerrard became the Director and teacher of dance and choreography for the Aspen Music School and Opera. She would continue in this position until 1977.

In 1977, Gerrard again focused her work in the Los Angeles area. She taught dance and choreography at the University of Judaism, where she also served as the Chairwoman of the Modern Dance Department, and at the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles from 1977-1980. In 1980, she began teaching dance and choreography at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. She was also the Founder, Director and Choreographer for the Saida Gerrard Heritage Dance Company, which performed at the Immaculate Heart College, Temple Judea, University Synagogue, Temple Emmanuel, Stephen Wise Temple, and the Leo Baeck Temple, all of which are located in Los Angeles. The Heritage Dance Company focused on works related to her Jewish heritage.

Saida Gerrard's commissions included choreographed oratorios for the New York Philharmonic Chorus and the Toronto Peoples Chorus; Song of Miriam for the Detroit Folk Choir; New Exodus (Di Naye Hagode) for the Chicago Philharmonic Chorus and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Choir; and a grant from the California Arts Commission to choreograph Ancestral Memories . She performed as a soloist and principal dancer with the Toronto City Orchestra; Chicago Chamber Orchestra; Detroit Little Symphony Orchestra; Detroit Folk Choirs; Carnegie Hall and Town Hall Concerts, New York; and the Charles Weidman Theatre Dance Company. Gerrard served as the Director for the Carousel Dance Theatre for Children and the Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, III, Dance School; the Saida Gerrard Heritage Dance Company; the Aspen Music School and Opera; and the Modern Dance Department at the University of Judaism. She was the founder of the Sutro-Syler Dance Studio; the Carousel Theater; and the Heritage Dance Company. Her performances included Death and Transfiguration (1935); Dance Suite-Songs of Unrest (1935); Sea Shanties (1937), set to music composed by her husband, Aube Tzerko; and Die Naye Hagodah (1949), choreographed to Max Helfman's choral tone poem.

Saida Gerrard retired from dancing in 1989. Her husband Aube Tzerko passed away in September 1995. While in retirement Gerrard continued to promote dance and the arts in education. She remained in Los Angeles until her death in 2005. She is survived by her niece, Lisa Gerrard, who donated her aunt's papers to USC.

From the guide to the Saida Gerrard Collection, 1930-1980, (USC Libraries Special Collections)

Charles Edward Weidman Jr. was born in 1904 in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1920 he left for Los Angeles to study at the Denishawn School. His first teacher there was Doris Humphrey.

During eight years as a soloist in the Denishawn company, Charles Weidman toured the United States, England and the Orient.

In 1929 he and Doris Humphrey established their own school and the Humphrey-Weidman Concert Company. Theirs was the first modern dance group to give a New York Concert. In 1948 due to Doris Humphrey's retirement as a dancer he formed his own company, Charles Weidman Dance Theatre. In his performances he combined dance, mime, narration and, later when the artist Mikhail Santaro joined him in the 1960s, lecture-demonstrations of drawings.

In addition to his concert work, tours and teaching in the 1940s, Charles Weidman choreographed several Broadway shows . For three years (1963-66) he was also a choreographer for the New York City Center Opera Company where he contributed to many of the company's successes. (See Love for Three Oranges file of this collection).

Charles Weidman conducted workshops on over two hundred college campuses and as many high schools. He was been on the faculty at Bennington College, Mills College, Temple University, Columbia University, New York University, The New School for Social Research, and Connecticut College in New London. He was appointed a Distinguished Professor at Brooklyn College and awarded Jersey City State College Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

For about fifteen years Charles Weidman had a studio in New York that was the home for his company Expression of Two Arts Theatre, and where he taught, choreographed and performed together with his small company up to the very day of his death on July 15, 1975.

From the guide to the Charles Weidman papers, 1908-1975, (The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Humphrey, Doris, 1895-1958. Scrapbook: Clippings and programs, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn King, Eleanor. Transformations. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Bockman, George, d. 1979. Reminiscences of George Bockman : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Limón, José. Papers, [ca. 1927]-1972. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Dance Notation Bureau (New York, N.Y.). Notated theatrical dances - Labanotation collection, 1939-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Humphrey-Weidman Company. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Letters to Doris Humphrey, 1931-1949. (15 items). New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Moore, Lillian. Papers, 1947-1964. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Scott, Marion,. Interviews with Marion Scott. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Campbell, Marian Van Tuyl, 1907-1987. Reminiscences of Marian Van Tuyl Campbell : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Humphrey-Weidman Company. Scrapbooks: Clippings and programs. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Miscellaneous manuscripts. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Letters to Marion Scott, 1944-1963 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn John Dougherty collection, 1904-1988 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Walter Terry papers, 1913-1982 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Humphrey-Weidman Company. Scrapbook: Clippings, press releases, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Lynn, Carol, 1893-1987. Carol Lynn papers 1896-1959 New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Bargain counter / chor. Charles Weidman ; notated as taught by Mr. Weidman Conn. College 1960, by Ann McKinley & Lucy Venable, assisted by Pauline de Groot ; [music by Lehman Engel]. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Humphrey-Weidman Company. Company management, 1933-1942. 6 folders (ca. 50 items). New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn King, Eleanor. Papers, 1931-1991. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn League of Composers. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Charles Weidman School of Modern Dance Inc. records, 1918-1972, 1967-1972 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Bernstein, Joan Levy,. Interview with Joan Levy Bernstein. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Correspondence with Ruth St. Denis, 1921-1937 and undated. 5 items. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Santaro, Mikhail. Charles Weidman papers, 1908-1975. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Tamiris, Helen, 1905-1966. Scrapbooks: Clippings and programs, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Job, Lenore Peters. Papers, 1850-1984. Museum of Performance & Design
referencedIn Ernestine Stodelle correspondence, 1945-1975 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Code, Grant Hyde. First dancers of America / by Grant Code. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Charles Weidman School of Modern Dance. Charles Weidman School of Modern Dance Inc. records, 1918-1972 (bulk 1967-1972) New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Humphrey, Julia E., 1866-1945. Denishawn oriental tour, 1925-26; Letters to Horace B. Humphrey, May Walker, and Ethel Moulton, August, 1925-June, 1926. 3 folders (27 items). New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Klarna Pinska papers, 1919-1986 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Dance Notation Bureau Collection, 1930- The Ohio State University. Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute.
referencedIn Allen, Louise. Reminiscences of Louise Allen : oral history, 1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Shawl, Frank,. An ongoing dance through life : an oral history : transcript, 2004 / Frank Shawl ; interviewers, Ruth Chen ... [et al.] ; editors, Alyson Belcher, Jeff Friedman, and Ruth Jacbs. Museum of Performance & Design
referencedIn Vincent, Patricia Balz,. Interview with Patricia Vincent. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Saida Gerrard Collection, 1930-1980 USC Libraries Special Collections
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Scrapbook, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Paris. Opéra. Ballet. Scrapbook: Clippings and programs, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Bockman, George. Scrapbook: Clippings, programs, etc. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Letters to Eleanor Frampton. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Theatre Arts Monthly, collection of portraits, ca., ca., 1924-1939 (bulk), 1916-1964 (inclusive). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Harnly, Perkins, 1901-1986. Correspondence, writings, catalog, photographs of artwork. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn José Limón papers, ca. 1927-1972 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
creatorOf Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965. Steel and stone / Henry Cowell. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Tamiris, Helen, 1905-1966. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Scott, Marion,. Letters to Marion Scott, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Shurr, Gertrude,. Interview with Gertrude Shurr. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Humphrey-Weidman Company. Scrapbooks: Clippings and programs. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Alton, Robert, 1897-1957. Musical comedies. Life begins at 8:40. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Pinska, Klarna. Klarna Pinska papers, 1919-1986. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn King, Eleanor. Papers. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Miller, Freda D. Fables for our time. Story: James Thurber; choreography: Charles Weidman; music: Freda Miller. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Limón, José, 1908-1972. Papers, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Carol Lynn papers, 1896-1959 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Denishawn Collection. Scrapbooks: Clippings, announcements, and programs. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Beatrice Seckler papers, 1945-1977, 1945-1977 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
creatorOf Seckler, Beatrice. Beatrice Seckler. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Bennington Summer School of the Dance project : oral history, 1978-1979. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Stackhouse, Sally. Redivivio: experiences in reconstruction [panel discussion]. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Dougherty, John, 1910-1988. John Dougherty collection, 1904-1988. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Lynchtown : from "Atavism" which was in 3 parts / [choreography by Charles Weidman ; music by Lehman Engel ; notated by Ann McKinley and Lucy Venable, assisted by Pauline de Groot]. Ohio State University Libraries
referencedIn Bockman, George. Scrapbook: Clippings, programs, photographs. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Stodelle, Ernestine. Ernestine Stodelle correspondence, 1945-1975. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Moore, Lillian. Scrapbooks. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Eleanor King papers, 1916-1991, 1951-1991 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Musical comedies. Sing out, sweet land [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Limón, José. Papers, [ca. 1927]-1972. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn This is the civilian. [ca. 1942] 1 folder (12 p.). New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Opus 51 / [choreography: Charles Weidman ; music: Vivian Fine]. Ohio State University Libraries
creatorOf Weidman, Charles. Papers, ca. 1908-1975. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Humphrey, Doris, 1895-1958. Notebooks. [ca. 1928-1945] 3 folders (3 items). New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Stodelle, Ernestine. Ernestine Stodelle papers, 1925-2006. Newberry Library
referencedIn Seckler, Beatrice,. Interview with Beatrice Seckler. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Frampton, Eleanor. Scrapbooks: Clippings, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn New York (City). Neighborhood Playhouse. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Bauman, Art,. Interview with Art Bauman. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Bales, William, 1910-1990,. Interview with William Bales. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Horst, Louis, 1884-1964,. Scrapbooks. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Humphrey, Doris, 1895-1958. Scrapbooks: Clippings. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Cannell, Kathleen, 1891-1974. Papers of Kathleen Cannell, ca. 1890-1974 (inclusive), 1944-1974 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Charles Weidman papers, 1908-1975 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
referencedIn Huebert, Diana, 1899-1983. Diana Huebert papers, 1916-1983. Newberry Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Louise. person
associatedWith Bales, William, 1910-1990, person
associatedWith Bauman, Art, person
associatedWith Bernstein, Joan Levy, person
associatedWith Bockman, George. person
associatedWith Bockman, George, d. 1979. person
associatedWith Campbell, Marian Van Tuyl, 1907-1987. person
associatedWith Cannell, Kathleen, 1891-1974. person
associatedWith Carousel Dance Theatre for Children. corporateBody
associatedWith Cazden, Norman, 1914- person
associatedWith Charles Weidman School of Modern Dance. corporateBody
associatedWith Charles Weidman Theatre Dance Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Code, Grant Hyde. person
associatedWith Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965. person
associatedWith Dance Notation Bureau (New York, N.Y.). corporateBody
associatedWith Dougherty, John, 1910-1988. person
associatedWith Frampton, Eleanor. person
associatedWith Gerrard, Saida person
associatedWith Hanya, Holm, 1893-1992 person
associatedWith Harnly, Perkins, 1901-1986. person
associatedWith Helfman, Max person
associatedWith Heritage Dance Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Horst, Louis, 1884-1964, person
associatedWith Huebert, Diana, 1899-1983. person
associatedWith Humphrey, Doris, 1895-1958. person
associatedWith Humphrey, Julia E., 1866-1945. person
associatedWith Humphrey-Weidman Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Humphrey-Weidman Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Humphrey-Weidman Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Humphrey-Weidman Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Humphrey-Weidman Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Humphrey-Weidman Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Humphrey-Weidman Studio. corporateBody
associatedWith Idyllwild Arts Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith Job, Lenore Peters. person
associatedWith King, Eleanor. person
associatedWith King, Eleanor, 1906-1991 person
associatedWith League of Composers. corporateBody
associatedWith Limón, José. person
associatedWith Limón, José. person
associatedWith Limón, José person
associatedWith Limón, José, 1908-1972. person
associatedWith Lynn, Carol, 1893-1987 person
associatedWith Miller, Freda D. person
associatedWith Moore, Lillian. person
associatedWith New York (City). Neighborhood Playhouse. corporateBody
associatedWith Paris. Opéra. Ballet. corporateBody
associatedWith Pinska, Klarna. person
associatedWith Prokofiev, Sergey, 1891-1953. person
associatedWith Santaro, Mikhail. person
associatedWith Schurman, Nona. person
associatedWith Scott, Marion person
associatedWith Scott, Marion, person
associatedWith Seckler, Beatrice. person
associatedWith Shawl, Frank, person
associatedWith Shurr, Gertrude, person
associatedWith St. Denis, Ruth, 1880-1968. person
correspondedWith Stodelle, Ernestine. person
associatedWith Tamiris, Helen, 1905-1966. person
associatedWith Terry, Walter person
associatedWith Tzerko, Aube person
associatedWith University of California, Los Angeles . corporateBody
associatedWith University of Judaism. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Southern California . corporateBody
associatedWith Vincent, Patricia Balz, person
associatedWith Wigman, Mary, 1886-1973 person
associatedWith Zemach, Benjamin person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Choreography
Dance--Production and direction
Dance companies
Modern dance
Choreographers
Dance
Dance companies--Finance
Occupation
Dancers
Choreographer
Function

Person

Birth 1901-07-22

Death 1975

Information

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