Talley Beatty

Ballet Society

Talley Beatty (1920-1995), born in Shreveport, Louisiana, studied with Katherine Dunham as a child and was an original member of the Dunham Company for several years. He performed in the Broadway show Cabin in the Sky (1940) and in the films Carnival of Rhythm (1940) and Stormy Weather (1943). He also performed in Showboat (1946) and Inside USA (1948). Beatty studied at the School of American Ballet and performed Blackface (1947) with Ballet Society, an early Balanchine company. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he taught at the Dunham School. During that period he also started the first of several dance companies. Beatty was one of the most notable African American choreographers. Among his many ballets are Road to Phoebe Snow (1959), Congo Tango Palace (1960), Caravanserai (1971), and The Stack Up (1983); he also choreographed for Broadway shows: a revival of House of Flowers (1968), Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope (1970), and Your Arms too Short to Box with God.

Sources:

“Obituaries- Talley Beatty” Dance Magazine, July 1995, page 60
Talley Beatty, 76, a Leader In Lyrical Jazz Choreography

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