Broadway Star Carol Channing Has Died at 97
The inimitable Carol Channing, best known for her role as the titular Hello, Dolly!, passed away today at 97.
Though she became a three-time Tony winner, Channing was born in Seattle, far from the Great White Way, in 1921. After growing up in San Francisco, she attended the famed Bennington College, studying dance and drama. She later told the university, "What Bennington allows you to do is develop the thing you're going to do anyway, over everybody's dead body." For Channing, that meant decades of fiery, comical performances, bursting with energy.
Aside from Dolly, her signature roles included Lorelei Lee in Broadway's Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1949)—several years before Marilyn Monroe took on the role in the later film version—and Muzzy Van Hossmere in the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie. For Millie, she was in excellent company, acting opposite Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore, and Channing's performance won her a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress.
Age wasn't just a number for Channing—it meant even less than that. At 74, she reprised her role of Dolly for the third time on Broadway, and through the years, she performed it thousands of times, even on international tours to Britain, Australia, Japan and China.
An anecdote in The New York Times asserts that birthdays simply weren't on Channing's radar:
She said she did not observe her birthday until Jan. 31, 1993, her 72nd, when she was a guest at a White House dinner and, to her amazement, President Bill Clinton noted the occasion in his remarks. When she replied that she had never celebrated her birthday, the president responded, "Well, then this is your first birthday."
Social media has made the dance world a lot smaller, giving users instant access to artists and companies around the world. For aspiring pros, platforms like Instagram can offer a tantalizing glimpse into the life of a working performer. But there's a fine line between taking advantage of what social media can offer and relying too heavily on it.
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
On August 19, 1929, shockwaves were felt throughout the dance world as news spread that impresario Sergei Diaghilev had died. The founder of the Ballets Russes rewrote the course of ballet history as the company toured Europe and the U.S., championing collaborations with modernist composers, artists and designers such as Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel. The company launched the careers of its five principal choreographers: Michel Fokine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Léonide Massine, Bronislava Nijinska and George Balanchine.