“Nikolais’s students, his company dancers, and his creative colleagues are
deeply grateful for his generous giving of his vision and his artistry — to us
and to the world. We thank Nik for being our teacher, guide, and inspiration.”

—Ruth E. Grauert


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Bearnstow Journal offers articles on the Nikolais esthetic and the arts.  Editor Ruth Grauert worked for Alwin Nikolais for forty years.  She has created lighting designs for many dancers in that discipline.  A published poet and essayist, Ms. Grauert is the executive director of Bearnstow, an arts and nature summer place in Mt. Vernon, Maine.

Bearnstow Journal is published by Bearnstow, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.  The site’s development and maintenance are dependent on your tax-deductible contributions.  You may contribute online though PayPal (PayPal membership not required); click PayPal button on the right. Or mail checks to Bearnstow, 83 Sanford Place, Jersey City, NJ 07307.




From left to right: Phyllis Lamhut, Murray Louis, Gladys Balin, Beverly Schmidt (Blossom), Coral Martindale (Auburn), and Bill Frank  (click photo to enlarge)

The Bewitched premiered on March 26, 1957 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with music composed by Harry Partch. The prominent Greek-American artist George Constant made the props and painted the the costumes.



Bewittched was choreographed in several episodes; the section (above left) was called “Garden.” In another (right), called “Detectives,” dancers wore artificial eyes made of ping-pong balls (click to englarge).

See previously featured Historical Photos and videos.



News and Announcements

Bearnstow Announces Its Faculty and Workshops for Summer 2015


Ruth Grauert

Véronique MacKenzie

Molly Hess

Peter Kyle

Scott Giguere

Robin Gilmore

Lauren Kelly-Washington

Claire Porter

Susan Buirge

K.J. Holmes

Bearnstow on Parker Pond annouces the Summer 2015 roster of programs. See complete list of activites.


July 29–10 (two weeks, weekdays): Molly Hess: “Day Camp for Children of School Age”











In Memoriam: Beverly Schmidt Blossom
August 28, 1926–November 1, 2014

We are saddened to learn of the death of Beverly Blossom on Saturday, November 1, from cancer. The funeral service was held on Friday, November 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the Michalik Funeral Home in Chicago.

Nikolais alumni and friends are invited to offer condolences to her son, Michael Blossom. See Beverly’s Memorial Web Page. Tributes and remembrances may be sent to Jim at Bearnstow. A memoral gathering to honor Beverly is being planned in the New York area.

See the following obituaries:


Reviews


Journal Articles


Alwin NIkolias and Ruth Grauert in a lighting rehearsal for Vaudeville of the Elements at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 1965
Photo by Eric Sutherland
  1. Essays on the art of Alwin Nikolais, by Ruth E. Grauert, comprise Volume I.  Included are Nikolais’ use of light, sound, properties, and motion; a comparison between Nikolais and the Bauhaus; and a brief historic overview and current thought on stage lighting and dance.  Go to the Index of Volume I articles.

  2. Essays on Mary Wigman:  Volume II of Bearnstow Journal includes: Wigman’s own article on her early experience with Rudolph von Laban, Susan Buirge’s interview with Hanya Holm about Hanya’s early experiences at the Wigman School, Joan Woobury’s and Beverly Blossom’s accounts of their school year with Wigman in Berlin, reprints of Joan Woodbury’s 1956 articles on Wigman from Dance Observer, notes from Peggy Chambers, Julie Hamilton Pleus, and John Wilson, and finally excerpts from Mary Wigman’s letters to Joan Woodbury from 1957 to 1970.

  3. A Dance Course Curriculum by Dale Thompson.  Dale Thompson (NDT 1978–1983) has developed a sixteen-week dance curriculum, which also includes a comprehensive reading list.  Click for more information and downloading links.


The Chatterbox

Read the e-mail discussion forum of former Nikolais/Louis dancers, students, and technical staff members.


Special Links on This Site


You may submit articles, contributions to The Chatterbox, and poetry for inclusion on this site by e-mail to Ruth Grauert.  Please include a short biography and any other information you may consider pertinent.

This Web site (BearnstowJournal.org) is designed and maintained by Jim Van Abbema, who was associated as sound engineer, stage manager, and technical director for the Nikolais and Louis companies from 1968 to 1975.  He is currently a Webmaster and copy editor.  For questions about this Web site or exploring the possibility of designing or renovating your own site, e-mail Jim.

Tandy Beal, Mimi Garrard, Kathy Kroll, Phyllis Lamhut, Sheila Mason, Helen Kent Nicoll, Gerald Otte, Audrey Ross, and Joan Woodbury have helped us maintain Bearnstow Journal over the past year.

All images and written material on Bearnstow Journal are copyrighted. Reproduction of any item from this site is prohibited without prior written permission from Bearnstow.