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Dudley Williams

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Pathbreaking Dancer

Dudley Williams also danced with the companies of, among others, Donald McKayle (faculty 1962-64), who appears at left in this photo. Also pictured, to the right of McKayle, are Martha Hill (Dance Division founder; faculty 1951-95); William Louther ('61, dance), who would serve as director of Batsheva Dance Company and the Welsh Dance Theater in the 1970s; Williams; Mabel Robinson (BS '61, dance), who is the artistic director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company; and choreographer Pina Bausch ('60, dance).

 (Photo by Juilliard Archives)

As the first decade of the Juilliard Dance Division drew to a close, a photo was taken of a class that included several students and teachers who would become leaders of the field. One of them was Dudley Williams, who died on May 31 at the age of 76. Williams studied at Juilliard from 1957 to 1959 and in the Extension Division the following year, when this photo was taken. He left Juilliard to study at the school of—and subsequently join the company of—Martha Graham (faculty 1951-77). A few years later a fill-in spot with the Alvin Ailey company turned into more than four decades of dancing with the troupe—he became the longest-tenured dancer in its history and was still teaching there at the time of his death.

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