Talley Beatty

Talley Beatty (22 December 1918 – 29 April 1995) was born in Cedar Grove, Louisiana, a section of Shreveport, but grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He is considered one of the greatest of African American choreographers, and also bears the titles dancer, educator, and dance company director. After studying under Katherine Dunham and Martha Graham, Beatty went on to do solo work and choreograph his own works which center on the social issues, experiences, and everyday life of African Americans. Beatty and his technique and style of dancing have been both praised and criticized by critics and dancers of his day. Beatty began studying dance at the age of fourteen with Katherine Dunham. He learned her style of dancing which was heavily based on her African and Caribbean studies of dance in the West Indies. He was a part of Dunham’s company and performed in several shows with them. He also trained under Martha Graham in the 1940s. He left the Dunham troupe in 1946 to continue his studies in New York.


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