Charles Weidman and Doris Humphrey in her Variations and Conclusions from "New Dance" (1935)

Barbara Morgan, Courtesy DM Archives

Why Doris Humphrey Left Denishawn, In Her Own Words

Modern dance pioneer Doris Humphrey was born October 17, 1895.

After a decade as a soloist with Denishawn, her growing disillusionment with its management and artistic principles led her to leave the company with Charles Weidman and Pauline Lawrence. In a series of letters to her parents penned in 1928, excerpted in the February 1976 issue of Dance Magazine, Humphrey wrote, "I've worried over [Ruth St. Denis] till I'm sick—and decided to quit and concentrate on things that are right, or wrong ones that are within my power...I'll probably change my mind about being an idealist—but I'm set on it now."


The Humphrey-Weidman company found great success presenting works on contemporary American social concerns. Though arthritis forced Humphrey to stop dancing in 1945, she continued to teach and choreograph, and served as artistic director of her student José Limón's company, until her death in 1958.

Courtesy DM Archives

Doris Humphrey (right) and her mother, 1905


Latest Posts


Cheryl Fox, courtesy W Publishing

Laurieann Gibson's New Book Is the Blueprint Dancers Need to Achieve Their Dreams

Emmy-nominated choreographer, director, producer and now author Laurieann Gibson proclaims she's an "unstoppable" force, and it shows. After taking a bus to New York City as a young dancer to train at The Ailey School, Gibson climbed her way to the top of the dance, film and television industries, choreographing and directing world tours for icons like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj. Now, with the release of her first book, Dance Your Dance: 8 Steps to Unleash Your Passion and Live Your Dream, Gibson—a 2020 Dance Magazine Award honoree—uses her story to inspire dancers on their own journeys of harnessing their unique gifts.

To celebrate the release of Dance Your Dance, Gibson took to our Instagram for a live masterclass and Q&A with Dance Magazine editor in chief Jennifer Stahl.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS
February 2021