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Rafael Alfonso Umaña Mendez




From the beginning of her career Helen McGehee displayed outstanding ability to perform, merging her excellent technique with her instinct for acting to bring to life a large variety of roles. This ability abided throughout her long career with the Martha Graham Dance Company and in her own work with her own group of dancers.

She seems unable to abandon any of her pursuits whether in her professional life as dancer, choreographer and costumier, or in her private life as originator of clothing of elegance and distinction and superb cook in the French tradition. Her partridge stuffed with truffles and grapes or a beautifully poached salmon with mousseline sauce each carries the stamp of her pleasure in producing a thing of excellence. She is an avid reader and enjoys a stimulating conversation.

In these pages we hope to extend some understanding of Helen McGehee and her contribution to a period of high attainment in modern dance.

  A Moment of Note
March 12-13, 1978
The Juilliard Dance Ensemble gave the New York premiere of Changes by Helen McGehee, formerly a leading dancer of the Martha Graham Company and Juilliard faculty member from 1951 to 1984. Oboist Anne Leekac companied the ensemble with a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses After Ovid, Op. 49 (1951). Each of the work’s six sections was devoted to a mythological figure: Pan, Phaeton, Niobe, Bacchus, Narcissus, and Arethusa. Russell Lome, Susan Salinger, and Bruce Davis were soloists, McGehee designed the costumes herself, and Carol Sealey designed the lighting.

Helen McGehee’s Changes received its New
York premiere in 1978.

From the Juliard Time Capsule
March 2002

Click here for images of Helen McGehee and her work.