1000 Holt Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States
Barton Mumaw studied at Rollins College.
(In this, as told to autobiography, Mumaw relates dramatic...)
In this, as told to autobiography, Mumaw relates dramatic stories of the company's groundbreaking cross-country tours, of their building Jacob's Pillow from pre-Revolutionary hardscrabble to a preeminent dance festival, and tells for the first time of his intimate relationship with dance pioneer Ted Shawn. This is revealed through details of their lives together and apart, descriptions of their dances, and a stunning selection of rare photographs. This exceptional memoir, first published in 1986, will engage the general reader and is bound to attract scholars who seek to conjoin the many current works in gay and lesbian studies with today's equally numerous critical works in dance.
Barton Mumaw attended Rollins College. Also, he graduated from the Denishawn New York School of Dance in 1930.
Born in 1912 in Pennsylvania, Barton Mumaw was raised in Florida, where he saw a life-changing performance by Ruth Saint-Denis and Ted Shawn in 1928. In 1930 Barton Mumaw studied at Denishawn and performed with the company the following year at New York's Lewisohn Stadium. He began as chauffeur and dresser and later became an ensemble dancer. During the next two seasons, Mumaw toured with Ted Shawn and His Dancers, and he was with Shawn in his very first summers at a Massachusetts farm that would later become known as Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. From 1933 to 1940, Barton Mumaw was a primary force in the groundbreaking tours by Ted Shawn's Men Dancers, creating leading roles and performing in more than 750 cities across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
After the Men Dancers disbanded, Barton Mumaw launched a solo recital tour and was hailed as the "American Nijinsky." As a soldier during World War II, he performed in a variety of shows for American troops. After the war, he continued in popular entertainment, appearing on Broadway and in touring productions of such shows as Annie Get Your Gun, Out of This World, and My Fair Lady, working with choreographers Helen Tamiris, Agnes de Mille, and Hanya Holm.
In 1972, after Ted Shawn's death, Barton Mumaw devoted himself to perpetuating the Shawn legacy through such activities as staging Kinetic Molpai for the Alvin Ailey Company and teaching master classes and workshops throughout the country. He continued a lifelong association with Jacob's Pillow, including stints as Associate Director as well as serving as a frequent performer and teacher. Barton's last dance appearance was in the Pillow's Ted Shawn Theatre in 1981, and he returned the following year to stage several Shawn works in commemoration of the Pillow's 50th anniversary. It was during these anniversary celebrations that Mumaw appeared in the award-winning documentary film, The Men Who Danced. He also coached revivals for a 1991 Shawn centennial program known as Jacob's Pillow's Men Dancers, seen at New York's Joyce Theater and on tour both nationally and internationally. Also, Barton taught at Springfield College.
In addition to his career as a dancer, Barton Mumaw was a writer. In 1986, he collaborated with Jane Sherman on a critically-acclaimed memoir, Barton Mumaw, Dancer: From Denishawn to Jacob's Pillow and Beyond. He revealed the personal side of his relationship with Shawn in the book, which was reissued in paperback in 2000 and provided the occasion for Mumaw's final visit to the Pillow for an autograph party that same year.
(In this, as told to autobiography, Mumaw relates dramatic...)1986
Quotes from others about the person
John Martin: "Barton Mumaw is one of the best young dancers of the day by anybody's standards. He dances, with that instinctive flair, which cannot be simulated, or acquired but belongs only to the born dancer."