Bird, Bonnie (1914–1995)

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Bird, Bonnie (1914–1995)

American dancer and choreographer. Born 1914 in Portland, Oregon; died 1995 in England; studied with Martha Graham; m. Ralph Gundlach, 1938.

Influential modern dancer, choreographer and teacher who introduced new elements to dance and dance education in US and England, was one of the original members of Martha Graham Dance Co. and one of the 1st official teachers of the Graham technique; served as head of dance at Cornish School of Fine Arts in Seattle, Washington (1937–40), where students included Merce Cunningham and Jane Dudley; founded Merry-Go Rounders dance company after WWII; chaired American Dance Guild (1965–67) and was partly responsible for founding of Congress on Research in Dance; moved to England and with Marion North reshaped the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance (1974), introducing professional training for dancers and Britain's 1st degree course in dance studies (1977); formed Transitions Dance Co. (1983), to provide student dancers with experience in new choreography; founded Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund (1984); provided inspiration for Dance Theatre Journal (1983) and acted as editorial advisor until her death.