Immigrants Who've Inspired Us

Karina Gonzalez, © Matthew Karas

As many have pointed out, the United States is a country of immigrants.

But the access to our country has been threatened, and it makes us appreciate the times when people from all over the world were welcomed here. I'll bet each of you could come up with a list of inspiring dancers, teachers or choreographers who came to the U.S. to start a new life. My list, alphabetically organized, is below. But first, two quotes:

"In America, the foreigner is more American than anybody," —Balanchine, quoted in Dance Ink, Winter 1992/93

"Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere."—Jean Rhys

One could say the same of dance, as it has a way of finding aesthetic homes for those who are committed to their dance lives.

Historical Figures

George Balanchine

Asadata Dafora

Hanya Holm

José Limón

Pearl Primus

Current Artistic Directors

Victor Alexander

Angel Corella

Garth Fagan

Lourdes Lopez

Mikko Nissinen

Helgi Tómasson

Eduardo Vilaro

Stanton Welch

Ashley Wheater

Current Choreographers

Danielle Agami

Solo Badolo

Rohan Bhargava, PC Ezra Noh

Rohan Bhargava

Ananya Chatterjea

Nora Chipaumire

Yoshiko Chuma

Ori Flomin

Simone Forti

Zvi Gotheiner

Patricia Hoffbauer

Miro Magloire

Benjamin Millepied


Cynthia Oliver

Eiko Otake

Koma Otake

Yuri Possokhov

Alexei Ratmansky

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro

Vicky Shick

Willy Souly

Sri Susilowati

Olivier Tarpaga

Sergio Trujillo

Nora Chipaumire


Soledad Barrio

Joan Boada

Fabrice Calmels

Peiju Chien-Pott

Herman Cornejo

Joaquin De Luz

Lorena Feijóo and Lorna Feijóo

Marcelo Gomes

Karina Gonzalez

Victoria Jaiani

Yuriko Kajiya

Kazu Kumagai

Maria Kochetkova

Carla Körbes

Misa Kuranaga

Young Jean Lee

Pascal Molat

Maki Onuki

Hee Seo

Daniil Simkin

Yuan Yuan Tan

Living Legends

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Natalia Makarova

Margalit Oved

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