“Nikolais’s students, his company dancers, and his creative colleagues are
deeply grateful for his generous giving of his vision and his artistry — to us
and to the world. We thank Nik for being our teacher, guide, and inspiration.”

—Ruth E. Grauert


Site Search:



search tips   sitemap

Bearnstow Journal offers articles on the Nikolais esthetic and the arts.  Editor Ruth Grauert worked for Alwin Nikolais for forty years.  She has created lighting designs for many dancers in that discipline.  A published poet and essayist, Ms. Grauert is the executive director of Bearnstow, an arts and nature summer place in Mt. Vernon, Maine.

Bearnstow Journal is published by Bearnstow, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.  The site’s development and maintenance are dependent on your tax-deductible contributions.  You may contribute online though PayPal (PayPal membership not required); click PayPal button on the right. Or mail checks to Bearnstow, 83 Sanford Place, Jersey City, NJ 07307.




Almanac Dance Circus Theatre: Claire Healy, Martita Abril, Nick Gillette, Molly Hess, Adam Kerbel, Evelyn Lang­ley, Alyssa Kennamer, Emmanuel Becerra, and Ben Grin­berg (click photo to enlarge)

Bearnstow Salutes its Resident Artists!

Four Bearnstow Resident Artists per­formed with the Almanac Dance Cir­cus Theatre in Phil­adelphia on Octo­ber 23 to present Har­vest: New Works from Maine, Mexico, and Beyond.  Bearnstow’s Resi­dent Artists in­cluded Adam Kerbel, Evelyn Lang­ley, Em­manuel Becerra, and Ben Grin­berg. Bearn­stow’s Day Camp instruc­tor Molly Hess saw the performance and joined the photo.

Bearnstow’s Young Artist Residency Program is designed to give selected young dancers a summer of total contact with professional dance instruction and to give Bearnstow a cadre of capable assistants who help maintain the operation of the camp. Dur­ing the course, our young artists have designed pro­grams and promotional material, conducted re­search, composed sound scores, choreo­graphed their own works, and created dance videos. In every sense of the word this ten-week dance in­ten­sive is a graduate-level course in contemporary dance.




News and Announcements



© Arthur Fink
Celebrating the Life of Phyllis Lamhut

Saturday, November 8, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Tisch School of the Arts/Dance,
Fifth Floor Theater, 111 2nd Avenue, New York City

In celebration of her work as dancer, choreographer, teacher, mentor, and overall force in the dance community, From the Horse’s Mouth dedicates its next theater/dance event to Phyllis Lamhut in collaboration with Tisch Dance. Proceeds will benefit The Phyllis Lamhut Tisch Dance Scholarship Fund.  See more information and ticketing,





© Erie Times-News

In Memoriam: Tom Caravaglia
April 10, 1922–July 10, 2014

Tom Caravaglia, long-time photographer for the Nikolais Dance Theater and the Murray Louis Dance Company—and a much-revered photographer by the dance community, died on Thursday, July 10, after a long illness. “We have lost a great human being and the best photographer we have known. His eye for the time to click the shutter was truly miraculous.” —Ruth Grauert

See memorial page with a description of Tom’s funeral Mass and photos of his work. A celebration of Tom’s life was held on September 14 at the Paul Taylor Studios.




In Memoriam: Mary Anthony
November 11, 1916–May 31, 2014

In 1985, Jennifer Dunning called her “one of the city's most highly respected modern dance teachers.” New York City’s great dance legend, Mary Anthony, passed away at age 97 on Saturday, May 31.

See memorial and remembrances.


In Memoriam ~ Dorothy Vislocky

Founding member of the Nikolais Dance Theater, Professor Emerita
at Hunter College, and renowned and cherished member of the dance
community, Dorothy Vislocky, died on Saturday, October 26, 2013.

See tributes and remembrances.

Photo: “Paraphernalia” from Masks, Props and Mobiles II, 1955. Courtesy of the
Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis Dance Collection, Mahn Center for Archives and
Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries


Most Recent Reviews


Journal Articles


Alwin NIkolias and Ruth Grauert in a lighting rehearsal for Vaudeville of the Elements at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 1965
Photo by Eric Sutherland
  1. Essays on the art of Alwin Nikolais, by Ruth E. Grauert, comprise Volume I.  Included are Nikolais’ use of light, sound, properties, and motion; a comparison between Nikolais and the Bauhaus; and a brief historic overview and current thought on stage lighting and dance.  Go to the Index of Volume I articles.

  2. Essays on Mary Wigman:  Volume II of Bearnstow Journal includes: Wigman’s own article on her early experience with Rudolph von Laban, Susan Buirge’s interview with Hanya Holm about Hanya’s early experiences at the Wigman School, Joan Woobury’s and Beverly Blossom’s accounts of their school year with Wigman in Berlin, reprints of Joan Woodbury’s 1956 articles on Wigman from Dance Observer, notes from Peggy Chambers, Julie Hamilton Pleus, and John Wilson, and finally excerpts from Mary Wigman’s letters to Joan Woodbury from 1957 to 1970.

  3. A Dance Course Curriculum by Dale Thompson.  Dale Thompson (NDT 1978–1983) has developed a sixteen-week dance curriculum, which also includes a comprehensive reading list.  Click for more information and downloading links.


The Chatterbox

Read the e-mail discussion forum of former Nikolais/Louis dancers, students, and technical staff members.


Special Links on This Site


You may submit articles, contributions to The Chatterbox, and poetry for inclusion on this site by e-mail to Ruth Grauert.  Please include a short biography and any other information you may consider pertinent.

This Web site (BearnstowJournal.org) is designed and maintained by Jim Van Abbema, who was associated as sound engineer, stage manager, and technical director for the Nikolais and Louis companies from 1968 to 1975.  He is currently a Webmaster and copy editor.  For questions about this Web site or exploring the possibility of designing or renovating your own site, e-mail Jim.

Tandy Beal, Mimi Garrard, Kathy Kroll, Phyllis Lamhut, Sheila Mason, Helen Kent Nicoll, Gerald Otte, Audrey Ross, and Joan Woodbury have helped us maintain Bearnstow Journal over the past year.

All images and written material on Bearnstow Journal are copyrighted. Reproduction of any item from this site is prohibited without prior written permission from Bearnstow.