King, Eleanor Parker

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Dancer, choreographer, educator, and author.

From the description of Papers, 1931-1991. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122456037

Eleanor King, possibly of Liverpool, England.

From the description of Eleanor King commonplace book, 1781-1783. (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 659560960

Modern dancer and choreographer.

From the description of Letters to Grace Stevenson, 1942-1984. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122486764

A pioneer in the field of modern dance, Eleanor King was a noted choreographer and a teacher.

She was born Eleanor Campbell King on February 8, 1906, in Middleton, Pennsylvania. Eleanor, who was one of six children, moved with her family to Brooklyn, New York in 1926. King lived at home until age 28, when she moved to an apartment in Manhattan. King did not begin dance lessons at age 20. Her first teacher was Priscilla Roineau, who taught at Clare Tree Major's School of the Theatre in New York City. Her professional dance training and performing began with her enrollment in Denishawn in 1927. An original dancer of the Humphrey-Weidman group, King was with the company from 1928 through 1935. King worked as an independent dancer and choreographer in New York from 1935 to 1942. Her first choreographed large scale work was Icaro, based upon a poem by Lauro de Bosis, with music created by David Diamond and Franziska Boas. Jack Cole danced the role of Icarus. Icaro premiered at the Brooklyn Museum Dance Center in May 1937.

King became one of the first academic dance instructors in the United States. After leaving New York City, she went to Northfield, Minnesota to teach at Carleton College for the 1942-1943 school year. In the summer of 1943, King moved to Seattle, Washington, where she taught at the Cornish School of the Arts. For the next eight years, King taught, choreographed, and traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest, as a soloist and with her own dance company. In 1951 King began teaching dance and mime at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She retired from teaching at the University of Arkansas in the spring of 1971 and later moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she became involved with the burgeoning dance and theater culture of the area.

A prolific writer, King authored numerous journal articles and three books. Her research interests included Asian dance. King, who received several grants for study, traveled periodically to Japan between 1958-1967. She also studied in Bali, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Korea during the 1970s. In 1978, King's autobiography, Transformations: the Humphrey-Weidman Era was published. She also completed a second volume, Transformations II: To the West, which has not been published. In addition, King wrote The Way of the Japanese Dance, which was optioned by Shambhala Press, but never published; though it was issued later in a special limited edition. She also possessed a talent for sketching. During her lifetime, she produced several thousand sketches, many of which were included in The Way of Japanese Dance. Early sketches were of still lifes and nudes. Sketches from her middle years were nearly all from her many trips to Asia. Later sketches were inspired by her visits to the museums of the Santa Fe area.

In 1989, King moved to the Actor's Home in Haddonfield, New Jersey, where she died on February 27, 1991. At the time of her death, she was a co-director of the American Dance Repertory Theater with Mino Nicholas. The American Dance Repertory Theater created revivals of Miss King's dances, as well as the dances of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman.

From the description of Eleanor King papers, 1916-1991, 1951-1991 (bulk) (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 84208113

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Waters, Elizabeth. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Papers, 1931-1991. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Dionysus in Seoul. 1977. [ii], 14 l. 28 cm. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Papers. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Wolfe, Katharine. Katharine Wolfe papers, 1912-1972 (bulk 1928-1964) New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Humphrey, Doris, 1895-1958. Shaker materials. 8 folders (ca. 40 items). New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Scrapbooks. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Scrapbook materials, New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Letters to José Limón. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf KING, ELEANOR. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
creatorOf Limón, José. Papers, [ca. 1927]-1972. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Eleanor King papers, 1916-1991, 1951-1991 (bulk) New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Eleanor King commonplace book, 1781-1783. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Miscellaneous manuscripts. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Correspondence with Grant Code, 1936-39. (29 items). New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Papers. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor,. Interviews with Eleanor King. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Limón, José. Papers, [ca. 1927]-1972. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Letters to Doris Humphrey, 1933-1949. (10 items). New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Alexander Campbell. Papers, 1937-1977, 1937-1962. Atlanta History Center, Kenan Research Center / Cherokee Garden Library
referencedIn Momenta. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Juilliard School. Dance Division. General administrative records, 1947-1991 (bulk 1951-1985). The Juilliard School, Lila Acheson Wallace Library
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Letter, [1958] Dec 29, [Seattle, Washington], to Charles F. and Charles H. Woodford, [New York City]. [3] p. on 3 l. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Axelson family. Papers, 1849-1944. University of West Florida, John C. Pace Library
creatorOf King, Eleanor. The way of Japanese dance : an illustrated journal / Eleanor King. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Transformations. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf King, Eleanor. Letters to Grace Stevenson, 1942-1984. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Arkansas. University, Fayetteville. corporateBody
associatedWith Arkansas. University, Fayetteville. Dance Workshop. corporateBody
associatedWith Axelson family. family
associatedWith Bockman, George. person
associatedWith Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. Dance Center. corporateBody
associatedWith Code, Grant Hyde. person
associatedWith Federal Dance Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Gutman, Madeleine. person
associatedWith Harnley, Perkins. person
associatedWith Humphrey, Doris, 1895-1958. 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 Ide, Letitia. person
associatedWith Juilliard School. Dance Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Kam'bayashi, Sumio. person
associatedWith Kambayashi, Sumio. person
associatedWith Kealiinohomoku, Joann W. person
associatedWith Kealiinohomoku, Joann Wheeler. person
associatedWith Kernodle, George Riley, 1907-1988. person
associatedWith King, Alexander Campbell. person
associatedWith Korvin, Ada. person
associatedWith Korvin, Ada. person
associatedWith Lawrence, Pauline. person
associatedWith Lawwrence, Pauline. person
associatedWith Leabhart, Thomas. person
associatedWith Limón, José. person
associatedWith Limón, José. person
associatedWith Limón, José, 1908-1972. person
associatedWith Lippincott, Gertrude Lawton. person
associatedWith Momenta. corporateBody
associatedWith Mordkin, Mikhail, 1881-1944. person
associatedWith Nishitani, Martha. person
associatedWith Nishitani, Martha. person
associatedWith Pischl, A. J. person
associatedWith Plett, Nicole, person
associatedWith Rubin, Hyla. person
associatedWith Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture. corporateBody
associatedWith Savery, Helen. person
associatedWith St. Denis, Ruth, 1880-1968. person
associatedWith Stodelle, Ernestine. person
associatedWith University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. corporateBody
associatedWith Waters, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Weidman, Charles. person
correspondedWith Wolfe, Katharine. person
associatedWith Woodford, Charles. person
associatedWith Woodford, Charles Francis. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Korea
United States
United States
Great Britain
Japan
Subject
Cooking--History--18th century
Women--History--18th century
Shamanism
Choreographers--20th century
Breastfeeding--History
Dance teachers--20th century
Dance
Choreographers
Medicine
Occupation
Choreographer
Dancers
Dance teachers
Function

Person

Active 1942

Active 1984

English,

Korean,

Japanese,

Dutch; Flemish,

Judeo-Persian

Information

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Ark ID: w6xd13qc

SNAC ID: 22016926