Modern dancer/choreographer PEARL LANG has died, aged 87.
Lang, who took over a string of roles from dance pioneer Martha Graham, passed away on Tuesday (24Feb09) in Manhattan, New York after suffering a heart attack while recuperating from hip surgery.
After concluding her studies at the University of Chicago, Lang moved to New York in 1941, when she was accepted into the Martha Graham Dance Company and created parts in several of its productions. She later took over Graham's own role in works including El Penitente, Appalachian Spring, Letter to the World and Clytemnestra.
Lang was a member of the company until 1952, when she founded the Pearl Lang Dance Theater.
In addition to her contributions to modern dance, she performed in several musicals throughout the 1940s and '50s, including One Touch of Venus, Carousel, Finian's Rainbow, Allegro and a revival of Peer Gynt, starring Academy Award-nominated actor John Garfield.
Lang also choreographed for the Dutch National Ballet, the Boston Ballet and the Batsheva Dance Company of Israel, and taught dance at prestigious universities including Yale, the Juilliard School and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, where she last taught in December (08).
She is survived by her husband, actor Joseph Wiseman, two nieces and a nephew.