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Ulysses Dove
Born: January 17, 1947
Died: June 11, 1996
Occupation: dancer, choreographer
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, the eldest of three children, Ulysses Dove began dance study with Carolyn Tate while a premedical student at Howard University. He transferred to the University of Wisconsin to study with Xenia Chlistowa of the Kirov Ballet, and in 1970 he graduated from Bennington College with a degree in dance. Upon moving to New York, Dove joined the Merce Cunningham company and also performed with Mary Anthony, Pearl Lang, and Anna Sokolow. In 1973 he joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where he quickly rose to the rank of principal dancer acclaimed for his commanding presence, bright clarity of movement, and truthful dramatic intensity. Dove turned to choreography at Ailey's urging, and created the 1980 solo "Inside" for Judith Jamison. He left the Ailey company that year to begin a significant freelance career choreographing dances for the Basel Ballet, Swedish Cullberg Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, London Festival Ballet, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, and Groupe de Recherche Choreographique de l'Opéra de Paris where he spent three years as assistant director. Several Dove ballets have found their definitive, punchy interpretations in performances by the Ailey company, including "Night Shade" (1982) "Bad Blood" (1984), "Vespers" (1986), and "Episodes" (1987). His final project was "Red Angels," which was premiered by the New York City Ballet in 1994. Dove died on June 11, 1996. His choreography was marked by its relentless speed, violent force, and daring eroticism.

-- Thomas F. DeFrantz

Lewis, Julinda. "Inside: A Dance." DANCE SCOPE 14, no. 3 (1980).
Supree, Burt. "Ulysses Dove: Beginning Again, Again." VILLAGE VOICE, July 17, 1984.

Source Citation: "Ulysses Dove." ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE AND HISTORY. 5 vols. Macmillan, 1996. Reprinted by permission of Gale Group.