Nikolais, Alwin Edit


Agent Type


  • 1910-11-25 – 1993-05-08 (Existence)

Name Forms

  • Nikolais, Alwin

External Documents

Related Agents


  • Biography/Historical Note

    Alwin Nikolais was an American choreographer. Nikolais studied piano at an early age and began his performing career as an organist accompanying silent films. As a young artist, he gained skills in scenic design, acting, puppetry and music composition. He received his early dance training at Bennington College; after teaching two years at his own studio and touring the US Nikolais did active duty in the Army during World War II. Nikolais relocated to New York City following the war and resumed studying with Hanya Holm. In 1948, Nikolais was appointed director of the Henry Street Playhouse; he formed the Playhouse Dance Company, which was later renamed and known as the Nikolais Dance Theatre. Nikolais was granted five honorary doctorate degrees, was twice designated a Guggenheim Fellow, and was the recipient of a three-year creativity grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Nikolais purchased the first Moog analog synthesizer system. Nikolais was renowned as a master teacher, and his pedagogy is taught in schools and universities throughout the world. He died of cancer May 8, 1993, in New York and is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris)