Von Falkenstein, Waldeen 1913-1993
Von FALKENSTEIN, Waldeen 1913-1993
PERSONAL: Born February 1, 1913, in Dallas, TX; died, August 19, 1993, in Cuernavaca, Morelios, Mexico; married Rudolfo de Valencia; children: one son. Education: Attended Kosloff's School of Imperial Russian Ballet, 1918-28.
CAREER: Los Angeles Opera, soloist dancer, beginning 1926; Kosloff's Ballet, soloist dancer, beginning 1926; Michio Ito company, dancer, 1931; performed as dance soloist, Mexico, 1934; School of Modern Dance, founder, 1939; Ballet of the National Fine Arts Institute, Mexico City, Mexico, director, 1940, 1958; Theatre of the Arts, dancer, 1940-60; Fine Arts Academy, dancer, 1941; Ballet Waldeen, director, created first mass ballet Siembra, 1942-45; Sir Thomas Beecham's Mozart Festival, Mexico City, Mexico, choreographer, 1944; Hunter College Choreographers Workshop, choreographer, 1946; New School for Social Research, choreographer, 1946; Nicholas Roerich Museum, choreographer, 1946; 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Communist Party, choreographer, 1946; Ballet Moderno, Mexico, founder, 1948; Ballet Waldeen, Mexico, founder, 1960; National School of Modern Dance, Cuba, director, 1962; Cuban School of Dance for Art Instructors, Cuba, director, 1962; Mexican Contemporary Dance Company, director and choreographer, 1976-81; National Institute of Art, Mexico, created Ometeotl workshop, 1980.
AWARDS, HONORS: Mexican Music and Theatre Critics' Award, 1969, for best choreographer.
(Translator) Pablo Neruda, Canto general, 1950.
La danza: imagen de creación Serdan, (title means "The Dance: An Image of Creació Serdan"), [Mexico], 1982.
Contributor to anthology The Dance Has Many Faces, edited by Walter Sorrell, 1951. Contributor to Magazine of the National University of Mexico, Boletin CID DANZA, and Revista: Plural.
SIDELIGHTS: Waldeen Von Falkenstein, professionally known as Waldeen, began studying classical ballet as a young child, and began performing classical ballet solos at the age of thirteen for the Kosloff Ballet and the Los Angeles Opera. At the age of fifteen she gave up classical ballet to develop her own form of expressive dance.
Waldeen had great influence and popularity in Mexico, a country she loved. In 1938 she was invited to perform and set up a school of dance by the Mexican secretary general of education, an invitation she gladly accepted. She also performed solo concerts in Mexico, which received positive reviews. Waldeen taught, choreographed, and wrote up until her death, on August 19, 1993.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
International Dictionary of Modern Dance, St James Press (Detroit, MI), 1998.
Stony Brook University Hospital Web site,http://www.hsc.stonybrook.edu/ (April 16, 2002), "Waldeen and the Americas: The Dance Has Many Faces."*