Today is National Dance Day, and the United States Postal Service today issues four new stamps pays tribute by issue stamps of four “Innovative Choreographers” — Isadora Duncan, José Limón, Katherine Dunham, and Bob Fosse.
Bob Fosse is well-known for his work on Broadway. But, as it turns out, all four choreographers were connected in some way to Broadway.
Katherine Dunham (1909-2006), founder of one of the first African-American dance companies in the United States, was involved in nine Broadway productions, beginning as a performer in “Cabin in the Sky” in 1940.
José Limón (1908–1972), pioneering founder of the José Limón Dance Company, was involved in 10 Broadway productions, starting in 1930, where he played The Guard in “Lysistrata” — and ending two years after his death: His choreography was used in “Nureyev and Friends”
The most surprising connection to Broadway may be that of Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), who is often called the creator of modern dance. While American-born, she moved to Europe at an early age. As it turns out, before she became an expatriate, she appeared on Broadway. She performed in the chorus of a Broadway comedy called “The Geisha” in 1896.