Fort, Syvilla (c. 1917–1975)

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Fort, Syvilla (c. 1917–1975)

American modern dancer and teacher. Born c. 1917 in Seattle, Washington; died Nov 8, 1975, in New York, NY; m. Buddy Philips (tap dancer).

Trained at Cornish School in Seattle, WA, then joined faculty where she associated with John Cage and began choreographing works of her own; joined Katharine Dunham company where she served as ballet master and head of school in New York (1948–55); taught modern dance and theater with husband to many of the black choreographers of her day. Choreographed works include Bacchanale (c. 1940), The Drum Beat (1942), Danza (1958), The Flies for theater (1966), Poetic Suite (1969) and Ododo for theater (1970).