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Larry Warren, one of the most important figures in modern dance in Maryland and the D.C. area, has died. His wife and colleague, Anne Warren, sent me the following obituary:

Larry Warren (1932-2009)

Larry Warren, dance biographer, choreographer, teacher, and director passed away December 9, 2009. He was the author of two dance biographies, Lester Horton: Modern Dance Pioneer (1977) and Anna Sokolow: The Rebellious Spirit, for which he received the 1991-92 De la Torre Bueno special citation awarded by Dance Perspectives.

Larry was born in Brooklyn and moved to North Hollywood with his family in 1948. He began his dance training in Los Angeles at the Ruth St. Denis studio with Denishawn-trained dancer Karoun Tootikian and performed with the Concert Dance Group of the Ruth St. Denis Studio. Evening-long chats with Ruth St. Denis in the tiny patio behind her California studio triggered his interest in dance history and research. He received his undergraduate degree in Theater Arts from UCLA, where his love of dance theater was furthered by his success in his senior year in the lead role in the dance drama performance of John Steinbeck’s, “The Pearl.” After graduating from UCLA in 1954, he produced several concerts featuring his own choreography and served as president of the Board of Directors of the Southern California Dance Alliance, during which time he danced with the Guild Opera and the San Francisco Opera Company. Larry returned to UCLA for graduate work in Dance where he completed his Master’s thesis on Lester Horton, and, with encouragement from John Martin, began to work on a biography of Horton.

Larry joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 1971, where he co-founded, and for many years directed, Maryland Dance Theater, a critically acclaimed repertory company in residence at the University of Maryland at College Park from 1972-1988. His own choreography for the company earned him praise for his wit, his imagination, and his ability to create dramatic structures, characters and atmosphere.

Upon his retirement in 1995, Larry became Professor Emeritus of Dance at the University of Maryland in College Park. He is remembered by students and friends as a man of much passion, warmth, generosity and insight, one who took great delight in adventure. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Anne Warren, Associate Chair of the Dance Department.

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