( b. Jun 18, 1924 Wrentham, Massachusetts, USA - d. Mar 10, 2012 Manhattan, New York, USA ) Female
Winter brought natural lyricism and a startling passion to the Martha Graham Dance Company as a leading dancer there from the 1940s through the ’60s, and who mentored hundreds of students at the Juilliard School, at the Graham school.
Ethel Winter was born in Wrentham, Mass. where she took dance classes as a child before studying in Boston. As an undergraduate at Bennington College in Vermont, she was introduced to the modern-dance pioneers by Martha Hill, director of the college’s dance program and the first head of Juilliard’s dance division.
“Beauty” was a word often applied to Ms. Winter’s stage presence. When she first performed as a student dancer with the visiting Graham company at Bennington College in 1943, she seemed destined for roles with a gentle or innocent edge. Critics initially saw her in this vein after she joined the company the next year. In 1948 she became the first dancer to perform one of Martha Graham’s own roles in a solo, “Salem Shore.” John Martin, dance critic of The New York Times, wrote that she “looks charming, moves beautifully and projects a wistful romanticism.” Ms. Winter was a member of the Graham company until 1969 and appeared as a guest artist until 1973. She was also hailed as a great teacher and taught at Juilliard for 50 years, until 2003.
Ms. Winter's Broadway credits include Ankles Away and Martha Graham and Her Dance Company.
Source: The New York Times.