| Born in Philadelphia, Mary
Hinkson received her first dance training in a high school eurhythmics
class that used techniques devised by Emile Jacques-Dalcroze to teach
musical concepts through rhythmical body movements. She attended the
University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she studied dance with Margaret
d'Houble and received both her B.S. and M.S. degrees in physical
After graduating, Hinkson moved to New York to study with Martha
Graham, and by 1951 she joined the Martha Graham Dance Company, where she
remained a principal dancer until her retirement. Hinkson was best known
for her performances with the company in many works that Graham
choreographed for her, including "Canticle for Innocent Comedians"
(1952) and "Ardent Song" (1955). When the Graham company went on its
Far East tour in 1955, Hinkson remained in New York. In 1956 she partnered
Alvin Ailey in Harry Belafonte's touring revue "Sing Man Sing."
Her work outside the Graham company included Donald McKayle's
"Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder" (1959) in which she created the female
role, and with the New York City Ballet in George Balanchine's "Figure
in the Carpet" (1960). During the 1960s Hinkson danced in "Circe"
(1963), which Martha Graham choreographed for her; Hinkson also danced
periodically with the New York City Opera Ballet in John Butler's staging
of "Carmina Burana."
Hinkson had a long career as a dance teacher, working throughout her
career at the Martha Graham School, at the Juilliard School (1951-1968),
and at the High School of Performing Arts (1955-1960). She has also
periodically taught contemporary techniques to companies such as the
Stuttgart Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Dance Theater of Harlem,
and the Joffrey Ballet. In 1979 Hinkson and her husband, Julien Jackson,
purchased D & G Bakery, an Italian bread bakery in New York City's
Little Italy. Since Jackson's death in 1983, Hinkson has dedicated most of
her time to managing the bakery with her daughter and her niece.
-- Zita Allen