The Secret Dance Life of Andy Warhol
In honor of what would have been Andy Warhol’s 88th birthday on August 6, we are remembering his love of dance. He came to Dance Magazine looking for work as an illustrator in 1951. Associate editor Doris Hering answered the door and saw a person she described as “a pathetic little thing.” But he was a good draftsman, and he proceeded to contribute many drawings —including two covers—to the magazine.
Warhol’s interest in dance started at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon), where he joined the modern dance club. Later, at his famous Factory, he made films that included dance artists Kenneth King and Lucinda Childs. He often went to see Judson Dance Theater, especially when ballet-trained Freddy Herko was performing.
I think it’s sweet that Warhol invoked an angel when assigned to come up with something for Dance Magazine’s food column in the August 1960 issue. It’s such a contrast to the devilishly unhealthy food and drugs ingested by the crowd he hung out with.
Warhol drawing in a 1960 Dance Magazine
For our Dance Magazine Annual in 1967, he concocted a low-flying ballerina.
Warhol drawing in the August 1967 issue
In 1968 he collaborated with Merce Cunningham on Rainforest, for which he suggested his helium-filled Silver Clouds, recently reconstructed by Stephen Petronio Company.
In 1999, well after his death in 1987, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh honored his love of dance with an exhibit called “Watching from the Wings: Warhol and Dance.” On display were his drawings and photographs, including portraits of Nureyev, Graham and Cunningham.
Here's a page from our anniversary coverage in the June 2007 issue. Included are his two 1958 covers: a portrait of Doris Humphrey and a collage of pointe shoes.
Long live the dancing pen of Andy Warhol!
More than once, when I'm sporting my faded, well-loved ballet hoodie, some slight variation of this conversation ensues:
"Is your daughter the dancer?"
"Actually," I say, "I am."
"Wow!" they enthuse. "Who do you dance with? Or have you retired...?"
"I don't dance with a company. I'm not a professional. I just take classes."
Insert mic drop/record scratch/quizzical looks.
You nominated your favorite dance moments so far in 2019, and we narrowed them down to this list. Now it's time to cast your vote to help decide who will be deemed our Readers' Choice picks for the year!
Voting is open until September 17th. Only one vote per person will be counted.
Just four years ago, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance welcomed its first class of BFA students. The program—which boasts world-class faculty and a revolutionary approach to training focused on collaboration and hybridity—immediately established itself as one of the country's most prestigious and most innovative.
Now, the first graduating class is entering the dance field. Here, six of the 33 graduates share what they're doing post-grad, what made their experience at USC Kaufman so meaningful and how it prepared them for their next steps:
The 2019–20 season is here, and with it more performances than any one person could reasonably catch. But fear not: We polled our writers and editors and selected the 31 most promising tickets, adding up to one endlessly intriguing year of dance.