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Passing of Elizabeth Walton LeBlanc

November 28, 2017 11:38 AM

It is with much sadness that we inform you that Elizabeth Ann Walton LeBlanc, Associate Professor Emerita in the UMBC Department of Dance, passed away on November 17, 2017.

Liz was a founding member of the Dance Department from 1972-2016. She chaired the department for 20 years, from 1977-1997.  A member of the renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company (now called Paul Taylor's American Modern Dance) from 1959 - 1966, Liz originated roles in many of Taylor's seminal works including Aureole, Junction, Insects and Heroes, and Scudorama, and toured Europe, South America and the United States with the company. In 1981, she performed Taylor's choreography with Rudolph Nureyev and Friends in Honolulu. Liz's research remained focused on Paul Taylor's choreography and the Paul Taylor Dance Company. She taught his works to student and professional companies across the United States, in Germany, China and South Africa. She produced three documentaries on Taylor and his work:  Conversation with Paul Taylor (1986), Understanding the Choreography of Paul Taylor (1996),and Paul Taylor: The Man Behind the Dance (2013).

Liz was featured in the film Aureole, by Matthew Diamond, shown during the 2012 season of the company.  In 2014, she reprised her role in Taylor's From Sea to Shining Sea at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. In 2015, she wrote three articles describing her experiences performing Taylor's dances, for Paul Taylor Dance Company: The Diamond Anniversary," published by Delphinium Books.

Liz founded UMBC's Phoenix Repertory Dance Company (now called Baltimore Dance Project) in 1983, for which she created several works. She succeeded in obtaining numerous grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences to support the work of the company.  Phoenix performed at many venues in Baltimore, the DC Metro area, and in New York City.

Liz is survived by her sister, Adrienne Price, her children, Michael and Rosalynde LeBlanc, and three grandchildren. A funeral will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, CA. on December 1 at 1:00 pm. Plans are under way for a memorial on the East Coast.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the UMBC Foundation (please include "Dance Department" in the memo line) Gifts may be made online at giving.umbc.edu. Please designate the Dance Department and note that your gift is in memory of Elizabeth Walton Leblanc. These funds will support awards to students for studies in dance."


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