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Legacy Oral History Online Collection

Eve Gentry

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Eve Gentry (1909-1994) was an innovative dancer, performer, touring artist and choreographer. She co-founded the Dance Notation Bureau in 1940. An impromptu audition with Hanya Holm, one of the “Big Four” founders of American modern dance, on the very first day of her arrival in New York City won her a place with Holm’s original company. She performed, taught, and choreographed for her from 1936-1942. At the Hanya Holm Studio she studied Labanotation from Laban students Irmgard Bartenieff and Irma Otto-Betz. Injuries from her heavy performing schedule led her to Joseph Pilates. She studied with him for many years, eventually teaching for him, and as a dance instructor, she incorporated his methods.

During her lifetime, Ms. Gentry was acclaimed as both a performer and choreographer. She was recognized by Bennington College in 1979 with the “Pioneer of Modern Dance” award. She was a charter member of both New York University of the Arts and the High School of Performing Arts. In 1989, she was awarded the status of “Santa Fe Living Treasure” by the Santa Fe Network for the Common Good. She assisted in the establishment of the Institute for the Pilates Method and contributed an article on Hanya Holm to Choreography and Dance:  An International Journal.

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