Saturday, March 16, 2013

Women's History: Performing Arts

March is Women's History Month. It is the perfect time to take a look at some of the women who  have made their mark on the performing arts. Here are three women who changed song, acting and dance:

Marian Anderson (1902-1995) - Anderson was the first African American to sing a leading role with Metropolitan Opera. This “baby contralto” was raised in poverty and trained herself to play the piano. 

She sang at prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall. When the racial divide stopped her from performing  at the Washington D.C.’s constitution Hall; she was invited by an outraged Eleanor Roosevelt to perform at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter. 1991, she was recognized with the Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dorothy Dandridge (1923-1965). Dandridge was an actress, singer and dancer known for her roles in Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess. She was Hollywood’s first African American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actress in a lead role. Her work from the bottom to the top paved the way for African American actresses, such as Halle Berry. 

Isadora Duncan (1875-1929). Duncan is considered to be the "Mother of modern dance." This San Francisco, California native had a  poetic way of speaking about dance. Influenced by Greek and renaissance art, she wove walking and running in her modern dance language and was known for her ability to use improvisation. 

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