BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Dance: Blondell Cummings Dies at Age 70

Photo (c) Lois Greenfield

Photo (c) Lois Greenfield

Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about dancer Blondell Cummings – who passed away on Aug. 30 at age 70 from cancer – was that in an arts world that so often attempts to identify people through categories, movements or schools, Cummings defied easy descriptions or categories.

Dance Magazine’s Wendy Perron may have said it best when she wrote of Cummings, “A  dancer/choreographer who crossed over from modern to postmodern, from the black dance community to the avant-garde community.”

Of all the things she was celebrated for, it was her solo pieces that celebrated the magic of everyday movement and activities for which she was best known. Washing, cleaning, the movements of a grandmother could and did find a place in Cummings’ performances. And this focus created a singular body of work.

Here are links to obituaries:

New York Times obituary

Dance Magazine

Art Forum

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