Aileen Passloff '53

Image of Aileen Passloff

Aileen Passloff is an acclaimed choreographer, dancer, director, actor, and teacher. After graduating from Bennington, Passloff became active in the 1950s and ’60s off-off-Broadway dance and theatre movements in Greenwich Village and was a participant in Judson Dance Theater. She founded her own dance company in 1958 and directed it for 10 years. Since 1969, she has taught dance at Bard College, where she was chair of the department and now holds the position of L. May Hawver and Wallace Benjamin Flint Professor of Dance.

Some of her dances are nostalgic tributes to classical ballet; others are resolutely modernist. Her choreographic work, which ranges from nostalgic tributes to classical ballet to resolute modernism, includes The Song of Songs for Fountain Theater (2003); Encounters for the Berkshire Theatre Festival; Tree of Life for New England Dinosaur; and Hopes and Fears and Brahms Variations, both for the Toby Armour Repertory Company.

Passloff also acted in plays for the Living Theatre, the Judson Poets Theatre, and the Theatre for the New City. She appeared in Obie-winning productions of Gertrude Stein’s What Happened and Maria Irene Fornes’ Washing and Diary of Evelyn Brown.

Among the many honors she has received are grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spanish Ministry of Culture and U.S. Universities, and a Fulbright postdoctoral research scholarship. She is currently working as a mentor in a program called OPEN CALL, which sponsors young Latino choreographers.