Barton Mumaw

Recorded at Jacob's Pillow: 
1940

An essential part of Jacob's Pillow for longer than any other individual, Barton Mumaw (1912-2001) first encountered Ted Shawn when he saw a 1930 Denishawn performance in Florida, and he soon thereafter traveled to New York to study at Denishawn. Mumaw became one of the first four dancers to occupy the Pillow with Shawn in the summer of 1931, and he was one of the charter members of Ted Shawn’s Men Dancers when the group took shape two years later. He was both the company's lead dancer and Shawn's companion, a relationship that continued until 1947 but would remain little-known until Mumaw published his memoirs in 1986. Following the dissolution of the Men Dancers, Mumaw performed on Broadway (including such hits as Annie Get Your Gun and My Fair Lady), and in occasional concert appearances until his last Pillow performance in 1981. He continued his Pillow involvement as a teacher and lecturer, coaching the company known as Jacob's Pillow’s Men Dancers in the early 1990s, and participating in a PillowTalk the summer before his death. His solo, Bourrée, is forever immortalized on the weathervane of the Ted Shawn Theatre.

Dance Title: Bourrée
Choreography: Barton Mumaw (1933)
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach (music added to video by Jess Meeker and John Sauer in 1985)