Alwin Nikolais – The Crucible

Pilobolus and Momix…and before them? Their predecessor,

Alwin Nikolais..

..who introduced us to color, lighting, shapes, hypnotic effect, imagery, and imaginative props in a way we’d never before experienced. A pioneer in “total theater”, he was known as the P.T. Barnum of dance, for one.

Unlike Martha Graham, Nikolais was about “motion, not emotion.” Rather than a storyline or psychological drama, he brought a sense of magic and visual excellence to his audiences.

Since the 1950s through the early 1990s when Nikolais enjoyed international recognition, especially in France, little has been seen of his work. In fact, in 1999 the troupe was disbanded by Murray Louis, Nikolais’ partner.

As one critic said of Alwin Nikolais, “No one interested in the arts of the theater can afford to ignore Mr. Nikolais, who combines the roles of poet and showman in a strangely meaningful way.” I hope you’ll like then share the magic of Nikolais with others.


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