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Madden, Dorothy Gifford (1912-2009), senior lecturer, choreographer, author

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Surname: Gifford Madden
Forenames: Dorothy
Gender: Female
Date: 1912-2009
History: Dorothy Gifford Madden was born in New Hampshire in America and educated at Middlebury College, Vermont where she graduated in French and music and became interested in dance under the influence of Mary Lou Storrs who had been trained by the German expressionist Mary Wigman, a pupil of Rudolf Laban. Madden became a dance instructor in the physical education department at Maryland University and by 1967 had become the Founding Chairman of the Dance Department, a position she retained until 1972. In 1962 she enrolled at New York University to do a doctorate in dance as a creative art. She was the first person to receive a PhD in which the practice of choreography was part of the assessment. In the 1960s she was invited to the United Kingdom by the Ministry of Education and later by Dartington Hall to introduce modern American dance into British education. During her administrative career she performed in Washington with the Chamber Dance Group, Children's Dance Theatre and the dance companies of Pola Nirenska and Ethel Butler. In 1971 she founded the Maryland Dance Theatre, a touring company that performed contemporary dance until 1988 when it closed. In 1977 she retired from Maryland as Professor Emerita of Dance and took up a post at Laban (now Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) to write and lead the first MA in Choreography and the first doctoral programme in dance studies. She also mentored choreographers through her mid-80s at dance schools in Paris and Europe. In 1992 the University of Maryland honoured her by naming part of the new theatre complex after her, and in 2003 began a dance scholarship in her name. Dorothy Madden died in London in 2009.
  • United States of America
  • London
Sources of authority: Library of Congress Authorities
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/P216422
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1912 - 2002: photographs, personal and professional papers, reviews, oral histories, audio visual material and corresp.
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance: Laban Archive
See Annual Return 2009

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