Carmelita Maracci


An Individual Voice -- Centennial 2008

Essence and Inspiration of an Individual Voice:  An Homage to Carmelita Maracci

Sunday, September 28
2-4 PM
Reception to follow
Donations Welcome

Plaza de la Raza
Cultural Center for the Arts and Education
Music Building
Lincoln Park
3540 North Mission Road
Los AngelesDirections.html

Carmelita Maracci (July 17, 1908-July 26, 1987) was a groundbreaking concert dancer, choreographer, intellectual, and teacher who had a unique blend of artistry, fiery passion and social consciousness.  In her dance studio amongst the pepper trees, where the Hollywood School for Girls once stood, she honed her multi-faceted technique (ballet, Spanish heel work and castanets) to create innovative dances – “Another Goyescas”; “Cante Jondo” (Deep Song); “Carlotta Grisi:  In Retrospect”; “Dance of Elegance”; and “Nightingale and the Maiden”.

Maracci taught throughout her career and continued to teach until several months before her death.  Her reputation attracted students such as Paul Godkin, Donald Saddler, Allegra Kent,  Geraldine Chaplin, Janet Collins, Tommy Rall, Julie Newmar, and Cynthia Gregory.

Dance is ephemeral and fleeting; it is a challenge to perpetuate the art form.  The passion and spirit of Maracci’s legacy continues through her students and those fortunate enough to have seen her dance.  We would like to pay homage and document this voice from the past making the intangible tangible for the future.

1932    Plaza Art Center, Olvera Street

1935    Wilshire Ebell Theatre

1937    Wilshire Ebell Theatre

  1. YMHA (now 92nd Street Y)

1939    St. James Theater

1940    Arts Club of Chicago

1941    Brooklyn Academy

1942    Jordan Hall, Boston

1945    “Three Caballeros”

1946    Carnegie Hall

1949    Royce Hall, UCLA

  1. “Histoire du Soldat”

1951    Ballet Theatre (now ABT)

1952    ”Limelight”

1954    Jacob’s Pillow

a redmonkey site

Maracci made her debut at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium on April 22, 1930.

Career Highlights

“Like most fine artists who have created something, Maracci is not to be easily classified.  She has an exquisite ballet technique, the epitome of classic style, but she is not a ballet dancer.  She is also a superb technician in the Spanish and gypsy styles, and these she employs somewhat more purely in her compositions than she does the ballet.  But to call her a Spanish dancer is to fall wide of the mark, for all these elements are merely ingredients in a truly creative dance which belongs solely to Maracci.”

John Martin, New York Times, 1937

F. K. Ferenz

Wanda Grazer

Supported by her new dance company

  1. Informal New York debut

Formal Broadway debut

Chicago Opera Season

Columbia Concerts tour

L.E. Behymer tour US Company of Five

Walt Disney’s first animated-live action

Sol Hurok

3rd Annual Pacific Coast Dance Festival

  1. Selected by Igor Stravinsky

  2. to choreograph and dance the premiere

“Circo de España”    Maracci as choreographer & soloist,

  1. later danced by Alicia Alonso

Charlie Chaplin