Syvilla Fort
Syvilla Fort (July 3, 1917 – November 8, 1975) was an American dancer, choreographer, and dance educator.
Born in Seattle, she was African American and drew on her heritage in her original dance works.
American composer John Cage wrote his first piece for prepared piano, Bacchanale (1940), for a dance by Fort.
She died from breast cancer at the age of 58.
Born: July 3, 1917 Died: November 8, 1975 Occupation: dancer, dance educator
Born in Seattle, Washington, Syvilla Fort began studying dance when she was three years old. After she was denied admission to several ballet schools because she was black, Fort's early dance education took place in her home and in private lessons. By the time she was nine years old, Fort was teaching ballet, tap, and modern dance to small groups of neighborhood children who could not afford private lessons.
Fort attended the Cornish School of Allied Arts in Seattle as their first black student after graduating from high school in 1932. After spending five years at the Cornish School, Fort decided to pursue her dance career in Los Angeles, and in 1939 her neighbor, black composer William Grant Still, introduced Fort to dancer Katherine Dunham. Several weeks later, Fort began dancing and touring with the Katherine Dunham Company and learning the Dunham technique, which was rooted in the dance traditions of Africa, Haiti, and Trinidad. Fort danced with the company until 1945 and was included in the well-known film STORMY WEATHER (1943).
While dancing with the Dunham Company, Fort neglected a serious knee injury which prevented her from performing professionally by the mid-1940s. In 1948, Dunham appointed Fort as chief administrator and dance teacher of the Katherine Dunham School of Dance in New York, a position Fort retained until 1954 when the school closed because of financial problems. In 1955, Fort joined her husband Buddy Phillips to open a dance studio on West 44th Street in New York. In this studio Fort developed what she called the "Afro-Modern technique" which fused the Dunham approach with modern styles of dance that Fort learned in her early education. She continued to use this method in her work as a part-time instructor of physical education at Columbia University's Teachers College from 1967 to 1975.
The studio on 44th Street thrived until 1975 when Fort began struggling against breast cancer and was unable to solve the school's financial problems. Her staff and students found a new studio for Fort on West 23rd Street where she taught through the summer of 1975. Fort shaped three generations of dancers and among her best-known students were Marlon Brando, James Dean, Jane Fonda, James Earl Jones, Eartha Kitt, Jose Limon, Chita Rivera, and Geoffrey Holder.
Five days before her death from breast cancer on November 8, 1975, Fort attended a tribute to her life's work which was organized by the Black Theater Alliance and hosted by her student Alvin Ailey and by Harry Belafonte. In 1992, Fort's work was honored again when dancers from several companies performed an evening of her choreography at New York's Symphony Space.
Buddy Phillips' son Sabur Abdul-Salaam, Syvilla's stepson,has published a book, "Spiritual Journey of An American Muslim". Additional information concerning Syvilla is included in his book.

This is an excerpt from the article Syvilla Fort from the Wikipedia free encyclopedia. A list of authors is available at Wikipedia.
The article Syvilla Fort at en.wikipedia.org was accessed 225 times in the last 30 days. (as of: 05/31/2014)
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Great Performances: Free To Dance - Biographies - Syvilla Fort - PBS
Born in Seattle, Washington, Syvilla Fort began studying dance when she was three years old. After she was denied admission to several ballet schools ...
www.pbs.org/wnet/freetodance/biographies/fort.html
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Syvilla Fort | Facebook
Syvilla Fort. 13 likes · 0 talking about this. Syvilla Fort was an American dancer, choreographer, and dance educator.
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Fort, Syvilla (1917-1975) | The Black Past: Remembered and ...
Syvilla Fort, born on July 3, 1917 in Seattle, was a professional dancer in the 1930s and early 1940s and prominent dance instructor in New York City for three  ...
www.blackpast.org/aaw/fort-syvilla-1917-1975
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SYVILLA
Syvilla Fort, My sister, my mom. ... Although she was the subject of many obituaries, this may be Syvilla Fort's only biography. Jet Magazine said, “The ...
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Flickr: The Syvilla Fort Pool
May 8, 2008 ... Syvilla Fort and Peter Gennaro: Dennis Stock photo ... Cornish School 1938 Merce Cunningham,Bonnie Bird,Syvilla Fort and Dorothy Hermann.
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Tamara Levitz Syvilla Fort's Africanist Modernism and John Cage's ...
order to reflect the ''African'' quality of Syvilla Fort's dance. His sounds ... ship to the movements and expressive message of Syvilla Fort's dance.2 I first situate ...
saq.dukejournals.org/content/104/1/123.full.pdf
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Syvilla Fort Profile - Photos, Wallpapers, Videos, News, Movies ...
Includes Syvilla Fort photos, Syvilla Fort wallpapers, Syvilla Fort biography, Syvilla Fort videos, Syvilla Fort movies, Syvilla Fort pictures, Syvilla Fort photogallery, ...
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How the Piano Came to be Prepared - John Cage
These classes were taught by Bonnie Bird, who had been a member of Martha Graham's company. Among her pupils was an extraordinary dancer, Syvilla Fort,  ...
johncage.org/prepared_piano_essay.html
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Flickriver: Most interesting photos from Syvilla Fort pool
Syvilla Fort and James Dean by ruth margaret kreps archive · Syvilla Fort and Peter Gennaro: Dennis Stock photo by ruth margaret kreps archive · Syvilla Fort by ...
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23.05.2013 · (305) 695-1654 · "I was walking Lincoln Rd. Mall when we saw their advertisement for 25.00 Surf and Turf. I thought why not? I indeed got the surf and ...
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Fort, Syvilla (1917-1975) | The Black Past: Remembered and ...
Syvilla Fort, born on July 3, 1917 in Seattle, was a professional dancer in the ... time Professor of Physical Education at Columbia University's Teachers College  ...
Great Performances: Free To Dance - Biographies - Syvilla Fort - PBS
Born in Seattle, Washington, Syvilla Fort began studying dance when she was three ... education at Columbia University's Teachers College from 1967 to 1975.
SYVILLA
Syvilla Fort, My sister, my mom. ... During my senior year at San Francisco State University I took a history class that dealt with The Concept of Heroes ...
Syvilla Fort - Selected Readings - Engagingnews.us
...linguistics at New York University and New School for Social Research. Also attended Katherine Dunham Dance Studio, Syvilla Fort School of Dance, Clark ...
John Cage debuts his "prepared piano" in Seattle on ... - HistoryLink
Jun 5, 2010 ... Fort will go on to a major dance career -- one in which she is ... Sevilla Fort in Solo Recital at Playhouse," University District Herald, April 26, 1940, p. ... 8; Syvilla Fort Solo Concert Brilliant," The Northwest Enterprise, May 26, ...
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Non-free media information and use rationale for Syvilla Fort. Description. Syvilla Fort (July 3, 1917 – November 8, 1975), American dancer, choreographer, and ...
Books on the term Syvilla Fort
Empty Words: Writings '73-'78
Empty Words: Writings '73-'78
John Cage, 1981
Among her pupils was an extraordinary dancer, Syvilla Fort, later an associate in New York City of Katherine Dunham. Three or four days before she was to perform her Bacchanal, Syvilla asked me to write music for it. I agreed. At that time I ...
Struggles for Representation: African American Documentary ...
Struggles for Representation: African American Documentary ...
Phyllis Rauch Klotman, Janet K. Cutler, 1999
27 Even so, Syvilla lovingly conveys a poignant portrait of its subject. Though suffering from cancer. Fort is shown nurturing the talents of students of all ages, talking about her career as dancer and teacher, and finally conducting her last class ...
Struggles for Representation: African American Documentary Film and Video
Struggles for Representation: African American Documentary Film and Video
2000
Klotman (Afro-American studies and founder of the Black Film Center/Archive, Indiana Univ.) and Cutler (English and film studies, Montclair State Univ.) have an extensive background in black film, which bears fruit in this excellent collection of 11 essays covering over 300 nonfiction films by more than 150 African American filmmakers, terrain rare...
Oxford History of Western Music: 5-vol. set
Oxford History of Western Music: 5-vol. set
Richard Taruskin, 2009
These classes were taught by Bonnie Bird, who had been a member of Martha Graham's company. Among her pupils was an extraordinary dancer, Syvilla Fort. Three or four days before she was to perform her Bacchanal, Syvilla asked me to  ...
Bertha Pitts Campbell
Bertha Pitts Campbell
4 authors, see copyright info, Victoria Wheeler Raider Romero, 2013
These six girls, with Syvilla Fort and Merry Newton, form an up and coming Pledge Club. Their officers are: president, Merry Newton; vice president, Willetta Houston; secretary, Syvilla Fort; treasurer, Maydrew Stewart. 1936 Alpha Omicron ...
Katherine Dunham: DANCING A LIFE
Katherine Dunham: DANCING A LIFE
Joyce Aschenbrenner, 2002
As curator and education coordinator at the Katherine Dunham Museum in East Saint Louis, IL, Aschenbrenner (anthropology, emerita, Southern Illinois Univ.) is uniquely qualified to analyze and appreciate the life and career of her subject. Dunham founded the first self-supporting African American dance company, but she made more of an impact as a d...
Kaiso!: writings by and about Katherine Dunham
Kaiso!: writings by and about Katherine Dunham
Katherine Dunham, Vèvè A. Clark, Sarah East Johnson, 2005
Danced by Syvilla Fort and Harold Gordon. b. The mazouk, West Indian form of the mazurka brought to the Islands by the French. 5. Chansons Hai'tiennes Sung by Edward Rousseau. 6. Dance to Legba Legba is the household god of Haiti.
The Federal Theatre Project: A Case Study (Cambridge Studies in American Theatre and Drama)
The Federal Theatre Project: A Case Study (Cambridge Studies in American Theatre and Drama)
2003
Drawing upon archival resources, official correspondence and personal interviews, this book provides a detailed examination of the U.S. Federal Theatre Project in the decade of the 1930s. It recreates the often chaotic but frequently exhilarating story of "Uncle Sam" as producer. Special attention is given to the controversial Negro unit;...
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Syvilla Fort
Tinker, Tamper, Strings and Dampers: the Prepared Pianos of
discovered via The Avant/Garde Diaries Hauschka - Noise is Music from The Avant/Garde Diaries on Vimeo. When you place objects bet
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John Cage: Inventor of Genius? |
To label him as simply “a composer” would be failure to describe all that Cage was. Honoring his 100th birthday, we discuss his influence on modern music.
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Happy birthday, John Cage | th muses
__To celebrate John Cage's 100th birthday with you I am wondering what I can share. I just returned from the library, here at the Banff Centre for the Arts, with CDs of his music by Joëlle Léandre and Ninh lê Quan (various works), Aki Takahashi (Four Walls), and a double-disc tribute from 1993 featuring everyone…
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Midweek Culture Fix: Concerto for Prepared Piano | Contemporary Culture from the Bottom Up
culturegrinder.com/post/midweek-culture-fix-concerto-for-prepared-piano/
John Cage – Bacchanale for prepared piano (1940) | CLASSICAL20.COM
Composed in 1940 for a choreography by the American dancer Syvilla Fort, this was the first piece Cage composed for prepared piano. Cage and Fort were both working at the Cornish School in Seattle, Washington at the time. The room where the dance was to be performed was not large enough to allow for a…
classical20.com/2012/09/08/john-cage-bacchanale-for-prepared-piano-1940/
A YEAR FROM MONDAY: Four Statements on the Dance, Part I
www.ayearfrommonday.com/2011/10/four-statements-on-dance-part-i.html
Piano / Prepared Piano / Toy Piano Concert: Music By John Cage & Others | Sonic Diet
words by Robert J. Baumann Robert Baumann of Woodland Pattern Book Center shares with us an upcoming Woodland Pattern-organized event taking place this Friday evening, dedicated to the talented experimental pioneer, John Cage: John Cage (1912-1992) had an enormous effect on the piano music of the middle twentieth century through his invention of the “prepared”…
sonicdiet.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/piano-prepared-piano-toy-piano-concert-music-by-john-cage-others/
SoundCtrl – John Cage Piano App: A Prepared Piano at Your Fingertips
www.soundctrl.com/blog/john-cage-piano-app-a-prepared-piano-at-your-fingertips/
Ghana Rising: Music: Theresa "Terri" Quaye aka Theresa Naa-Koshie
“Blessed with 4 generations of musical genes. I made music my way of life from a very early age.
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Not Just ‘That Blind Person’ - Articles - Community for Disabled
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