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Gus Solomons, jr.
Born: August 27, 1940
Occupation: dancer
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Gus Solomons began serious dance study while an architecture student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Upon graduating in 1961, he moved to New York, where he performed with the companies of Donald McKayle, Pearl Lang, Joyce Trisler, and Paul Sanasardo. In 1965, Solomons joined the Martha Graham company for one season, though his most significant association during this period was with the Merce Cunningham company (1964-1968), for which he created roles in "Winterbranch" (1964) and "Rainforest" (1968).

Solomons formed the Solomons Company/Dance in 1971. Drawing on his experience at MIT, he conceived dance as "melted architecture" and undertook a clinical, postmodern approach to dance making that linked a fascination with puzzles and architectural design to the process of "kinetic autobiography." The resulting abstract, nonsequential choreography was marked by its lean incisiveness and effect of fragmentary collage. Choreography by Solomons has been performed by the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble and the Berkshire Ballet. About 1980, Solomons began to write exceptionally lucid dance criticism, which appeared in BALLET NEWS, DANCE MAGAZINE, and the VILLAGE VOICE.

-- Thomas F. DeFrantz

Long, Richard. THE BLACK TRADITION IN AMERICAN DANCE. New York, 1989.
McDonagh, Don. "Gus Solomons, Jr." In THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO MODERN DANCE. Garden City, N.Y., 1976, pp. 549553.

Source Citation: "Gus Solomons, Jr." ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE AND HISTORY. 5 vols. Macmillan, 1996. Reprinted by permission of Gale Group.