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Gus Solomons jr

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Information about Gus Solomons jr

Profile image of Gus Solomons jr

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Dancer
Choreographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange, Purple
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Wherever I Have Work
Favorite Quote:
Dance Like No One's Watching.

Birthplace

Born:
8/27/1938
Birth Location:
Boston, Massachusetts

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Dancer
Choreographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Orange, Purple
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Wherever I Have Work
Favorite Quote:
Dance Like No One's Watching.

Birthplace

Born:
8/27/1938
Birth Location:
Boston
See how Gus Solomons jr is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Dancer and choreographer Gus Solomons jr was born on August 27, 1938 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Olivia Stead Solomons and Gustave Solomons, Sr. He attended Cambridge High and Latin School before enrolling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1956, where he studied architecture. During this time, he began studying dance as a student of Jan Veen and Robert C. Gilman at the Boston Conservatory of Music.

Upon graduation, Solomons moved to New York City to dance in Oscar Brown, Jr.’s musical Kicks and Company, with choreographer Donald McKayle. Solomons joined McKayle’s company shortly after, and began taking classes at the Martha Graham School. Solomons’ interest in postmodernism developed further at Studio 9, where he shared space with other modern dance colleagues and worked with avant-garde experimentalists, some of whom went on to form the Judson Dance Theater collective. While at Studio 9, Solomons caught the attention of Martha Graham’s student Pearl Lang, who cast him in Shira in 1962. In 1965, postmodern choreographer Merce Cunningham asked Solomons to join his company. There, Solomons created roles in How to Pass Kick Fall and Run, RainForest, Place, Walkaround Time, and partnered with Sandra Neels in Scramble. In 1968, Solomons left Cunningham’s company after sustaining a back injury. He then collaborated with writer Mary Feldhaus-Weber and composer John Morris on a dual-screen video-dance piece entitled CITY/MOTION/SPACE/GAME at WGBH-TV in Boston, produced by Rick Hauser. Solomons went on to found his own company, The Solomons Company/Dance, creating over 165 original pieces. He became known for his analytical approach and incorporation of architectural concepts as well as his exploration of interactive video, sound, and movement, as depicted in the piece CON/Text. In 1980, Solomons began writing dance reviews, which were published in The Village Voice, Attitude, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. In 1996, he founded PARADIGM with Carmen de Lavallade and Dudley Williams. Solomons also worked as an arts professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts until 2013.

In 2004, Solomons was named the American Dance Festival’s Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. He received the first annual Robert A. Muh Award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and served as a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar in 2006.

Gus Solomons jr was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 7, 2016.

See how Gus Solomons jr is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gus Solomons jr's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr describes his father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr remembers his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr describes his neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the lack of racial diversity in his neighborhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gus Solomons jr describes his father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gus Solomons jr recalls his early exposure to music and performance
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gus Solomons jr remembers the start of his career in performance
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gus Solomons jr describes his early academic success
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his attitude towards racial discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr recalls his decision to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr remembers studying dance at the Boston Conservatory of Music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr describes the start of his dance career in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr describes his position at Barbara Dorn and Associates
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr remembers performing in 'Kicks and Company'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr recalls joining the companies of Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the techniques of Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr remembers performing with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr describes the formation of Solomons Company Dance
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr describes his creative process for choreography
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the theories of choreographic composition
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr recalls the funding for Solomons Company Dance
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr remembers the dancers in Solomons Company Dance
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr describes the rehearsal space for Solomons Company Dance
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gus Solomons jr remembers touring with the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gus Solomons jr describes 'City Motion Space Game,' pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gus Solomons jr describes 'City Motion Space Game,' pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the dance installations 'Red Squalls' and 'Red Squalls II'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his work as a dance critic
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his committee service
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his experiences of clinical depression, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the Paradigm Dance Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr talks about the loss of his family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr describes the live video dance 'CON/Text'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his collaborations with Jason Akira Somma
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his depression's influence upon his work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gus Solomons jr describes the Paradigm Dance Company
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his experiences of dancing at an older age
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gus Solomons jr describes his involvement with the It Gets Better Project
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gus Solomons jr talks about his involvement in the piece 'Monument 0.1'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gus Solomons jr reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gus Solomons jr shares his advice to aspiring dancers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gus Solomons jr reflects upon the state of diversity in dance
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gus Solomons jr reflects upon his life