« Murray Louis, Fuchs M., so called (born in 1926). American dancer, choreographer and pedagogue. Born into a family of modest origin, he grew up in New York. In 1946, he joined Anna Halprin in San Francisco who guided him towards Hanya Holm. In 1949, he met Alwin Nikolaïs: their partnership of over fifty years has been the key to their success. After studying at the “Henry Street Playhouse”, he was in charge of children's lessons and, whilst pursuing his university studies, rapidly established himself as a soloist, with a rare mastery of body control, for Nikolais. He began to choreograph very early in his career, working first of all with Nikolais' dancers such as P. Lamhut and G. Bailin, before going freelance in 1969.
An incredible pedagogue, he helped his companion develop his teaching. In 1989, the two companies merged to create the Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Company, which he has been directing alone since 1993, when his master passed away.
Author of over one hundred pieces, he has developed a distinctive, frequently humorous style (Junk Dances, 1964), and can be set apart from Nikolais by the priority he has given to dancers and by his eclectic musical choices (classical, jazz, electronic). He has explored pure movement and abstraction and has assessed himself intensively in his solos such as “Chimera” (1966) and “Déjà Vu” (1977), attaining the fullness of his art with his company (“Porcelain Dialogues”, 1974; “Schubert”, 1977). The European public discovered him in “Hoopla” and compared him to Marcel Marceau.
Critically acclaimed and regularly honoured, he has toured the world and has created for J. Limón, R. Noureev, the Royal Danish Ballet and the Batsheva Dance Company, among others. In his essays “Inside Dance” (Saint Martin's Press, 1980) and “On Dance” (A Cappella Books, 1992), he emerges as a strong and rational defender of his profession. »
Marc Lawton, in « Dictionnaire de la danse », Larousse, 1999
Last update : February 2012