|Before moving to Harlem at the age of ten, Eleo Pomare spent his childhood
in Cartagena, Colombia, San Andres, and Panama. After receiving a diploma
from the High School of Performing Arts in New York City, he continued his
dance training with Louis Horst, Jose Limon, and Curtis James, and by 1958
was directing his first company. Through a John Hay Whitney Fellowship,
Pomare spent two years (1962-1964) studying initially with Kurt Jones in
West Germany and later with Expressionists in Holland. There he organized
a second company that was well received in Holland, Sweden, Germany, and
By 1965, Pomare returned to the United States seeking an artistic
connection to American culture. His company performed throughout the
United States and later toured successfully in Asia, Africa, Canada,
Spain, Australia, and the West Indies.
Pomare's distinctive style is characterized by unexpected shapes that
twist, bend, fall, and lean in continuous organic movement. With a keen
musical sense, he creates sculptures-in-motion that extend, expand, and
slice through space. They can be lush and lyrical, or bold, driving, and
direct. Some of his characteristic works include "Missa Luba" (1965),
"Blues for the Jungle" (1966), and "Las Desenamoradas" (1967).
Pomare often creates dances based on visual and literary works or
socio-political issues. In 1988, he was selected by the American Dance
Festival to participate in a three-year project entitled "The Black
Tradition in American Modern Dance" set up to showcase and preserve modern
dance classics by African-American choreographers. He has produced dances
for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Dayton Contemporary Dance
Company, The National Ballet of Holland, Balletinstituttet (Oslo, Norway),
the Cleo Parker-Robinson Dance Company, the Australian Contemporary Dance
Company, and the Ballet Palacio das Artes (Belo, Horizonte, Brazil).
As a founder and the first artistic director of Dancemobile (1967),
Pomare helped bring free professional dance concerts to the streets of New
York City. For his outstanding contributions to modern dance, January 7,
1987 was declared Eleo Pomare Day by the Borough President of Manhattan.
Pomare is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and several awards from
the National Endowment of the Arts.
-- Jacqui Malone