Patricia Bowman

Recorded at Jacob's Pillow: 
August 18, 1950

Known as "the American Pavlova, " Patricia Bowman (1908-1999) enjoyed an unusually long and celebrated career at the top of her profession. She made her debut on Broadway in George White's Scandals in 1925, and alternated between commercial theater and concert performances until her retirement in 1957. She headlined the inaugural program at Radio City Music Hall in 1932, where it was estimated that she eventually danced for more than 10 million audience members over the years. She trained with Michel Fokine and Mikhail Mordkin and danced in both their companies, and she was the prima ballerina of Ballet Theater during its inaugural season of 1940. Bowman performed in FDR's White House in 1938 and starred in her own CBS television series in 1951. Seen here in her only Jacob's Pillow engagement, she suffered an injury while performing this solo and withdrew from the program after only two performances.

Dance Title: Chit Chat Polka
Choreography: Patricia Bowman (1950)
Music: Johann Strauss, Jr. (music added to video in 2013)