Louis Johnson and Four Saints in Three Acts

Louis Johnson; Arthur Mitchell, legendary New York City Ballet dancer and founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem; and Helen Taitt, a member of the New York Negro Ballet and founder of the School of Guyana Ballet, appeared in Four Saints in Three Acts on opening night and most likely all 15 performances of the opera in 1952. William Dollar served as their choreographer. It is unknown if Mitchell and Johnson met during this production, but it most likely helped solidify a relationship that would lead to Johnson choreographing pieces for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, including one of his most notable creations Forces of Rhythm in 1971.


Four Saints in Three Acts, Playbill
Louis Johnson, 90, Genre-Crossing Dance and Choreographer, Dies, The New York Times

More about Four Saints in Three Acts

Four Saints in Three Acts Playbill - April 1952Four Saints in Three Acts, a reprisal of the original 1934 production, ran from April 16 to April 1952 at the Broadway Theatre on West 53rd Street. The opera featured an all-Black cast, music by Virgil Thomson, and a libretto by Gertrude Stein and centered around Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Teresa of Avila.

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