Judith Rotardier

Dance Theatre of Harlem: Principal

Photo via IMDB.

Born to British and Trinidadian parents, Judith Rotardier grew up in New York and attended the Bronx High School of Science. Upon her graduation, Rotardier joined Dance Theatre of Harlem, following in the footsteps of her father Kelvin Rotardier, principal dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

As a company member, she was a part of the original DTH casts of David Gordon’s Piano Movers (1985) and Michael Smuin’s A Song for Dead Warriors (1993), the latter in which she played the lead role. Her other repertoire included John Taras’ The Firebird (as the Princess), Billy Wilson’s Ginastera, Geoffrey Holder’s Dougla, and Valerie Bettis’ A Streetcar Named Desire (as Stella). She also appeared in Fall River Legend, filmed for television in 1989. In a 1989 Los Angeles Times review, Rotardier was praised as “gorgeous” and “gracious” in The Firebird.

She has later become known for her television work, appearing in Gap’s West Side Story commercial and as Maggie on Madam Secretary.




Judith Rotardier and Keith Saunders by Martha Swope, photo via Dance Theatre of Harlem Archives.
Judith Rotardier and Lowell Smith in A Song for Dead Warriors. Photo by Martha Swope.


Repertory List: Dance Theatre of Harlem, Columbia University Libraries
Judy Rotardier, IMDB
Review/Dance; Ellington Meets Ailey, and Balance Reigns, The New York Times
Review/Dance; ‘Ginastera,’ By Harlem Company, The New York Times
Harlem Co. Offers Final Bill in Pasadena, Los Angeles Times
American Indian dance enjoys a renaissance, The Boston Globe

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