( b. Feb 03, 1926 Cleveland, Ohio, USA - d. Jan 26, 2007 West Palm Beach, Florida, USA ) Male
Glenford Andrew Tetley Jr. an American choreographer long popular in Europe whose pioneering fusion of ballet and modern dance challenged taboos and rattled purists but influenced major companies worldwide.
He was born in Cleveland on Feb. 3, 1926, and grew up in Wilkinsburg, a suburb of Pittsburgh. The image of a journey from innocence to experience in his 1962 “Pierrot Lunaire” paralleled his own youthful quest.
After pre-med studies at Franklin & Marshall College and a stint in the Navy, Mr. Tetley received his B.S. degree at New York University in 1948. Already interested in dance, he studied ballet in New York with Helene Platova, Antony Tudor and Margaret Craske as well as at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet. He then trained with two modern-dance pioneers, Martha Graham and Hanya Holm, becoming Holm’s teaching assistant and appearing in the Broadway shows she choreographed.
One of the original members of the Joffrey Ballet in 1956, he also performed with Graham’s company in 1958 while dancing with Ballet Theater (until 1961), with the New York City Opera and other modern dance groups. In 1961, he was a dancer in Jerome Robbins’s Ballets: U.S.A.
He also choreographed for American Ballet Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, the Houston Ballet and in Toronto for the National Ballet of Canada. His works were performed by other companies including the San Francisco Ballet, the Feld Ballet and the early Joffrey Ballet.
From 1962 to 1969, he directed the Glen Tetley Dance Company, which he disbanded because of financial problems. He then began to freelance full time in Europe, essentially becoming Europe’s favorite American choreographer.
Until the 1990s, Mr. Tetley seemed ubiquitous on the European dance scene. Through his prolific creation of new works, he reversed a traditional pattern: America had imported ballet from Europe, but Mr. Tetley introduced and integrated American modern-dance aesthetics and movement into European choreography. He incorporated the dynamic torso of Martha Graham’s technique into ballet’s elongated line and partnering. Mr. Tetley’s springboard was usually intellectual or inspirational, and he was interested in Eastern religions.
Mr. Tetley was co-director of the Netherlands Dance Theater from 1969 to 1971. After the early 1970’s, Mr. Tetley worked less with “contemporary” dance troupes he helped mold like Ballet Rambert in London. As he worked more with major ballet companies like the Royal Ballet in Britain, the Australian Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet, his work gained wider acceptance.
From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Tetley created three successful works as artistic associate at the National Ballet of Canada. Although even his plotless works always had an emotional undercurrent, his Toronto “Alice” offered a delightful psychological study of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, the model for “Alice in Wonderland.”
After Scott Douglas, Mr. Tetley’s partner of 42 years, died in 1996, he choreographed “Lux in Tenebris,” another elegiac piece, for the Houston Ballet in 1999; it was his last work.
Source: New York Times obituary