Biography

freelibraryexhibit005-medium-init-Born in 1905 in a Philadelphia row house, Catherine Littlefield became one of the most influential figures in 20th-century American dance.  In 1935 she founded the Philadelphia Ballet Company, composed almost entirely of American-trained dancers, most of them Philadelphians.

The company staged the first full-length version of The Sleeping Beauty in the U.S. and became the first American classical ballet troupe to tour Europe.  Its repertoire included examples of traditional ballet such as Moment Romantique, narrative works like Daphnis and Chloe, set to the famous Ravel score, and American-themed pieces including the energetic Barn Dance and jazz-inspired Terminal.

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