First Negro Classical Ballet and Diane Gordon

First Negro Classical Ballet Constellation
Click above to explore (or go back to) The First Negro Classical Ballet Orbit
(left to right) Kathleen Vargas (Valdez), Graham Johnson, Bernice Harrison, Ardie Allison, and Diane Gordon frolic at Laguna Beach in a photo spread on the FNCB that appeared in Ebony in November 1953.

FNCB included many dancers of mostly African-American roots with some Hispanic dancers and the company’s one white dancer, Diane Gordon. She made her debut with the company at the Assistance League Playhouse, in a performance in which she danced Tales From Vienna Woods¬†and was also included in the troupe’s sold-out performance at the¬†Philharmonic Theater.





More about Diane Gordon

Diane Gordon was Jewish and played a role in diversifying the First Negro Classic Ballet. She later went on to become a dance director of the New York Metropolitan Opera.


Dance Moves: An African American Ballet Company in Post War Los Angeles, Pacific Historical Review
All The World’s A Stage, Los Angeles Sentinel
Ballet Opens July 11 at Playhouse, Los Angeles Sentinel

Faith Rodriguez

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