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Research Guides

Chamber Dance Company Archive: Elisa Monte

A unique collection of video documenting the UW Chamber Dance Dance Company's over 25 year history of performing modern dance classics.

Selection from Elisa Monte's "Pigs and Fishes"

Elisa Monte

American dancer and choreographer

Dance is an art that uses the body as its instrument, and I feel that it has to be pushed to its limits.

                                    Elisa Monte

Born Brooklyn, New York, 1949.

Elisa Monte made her professional debut at the age of eleven, dancing with Agnes DeMille in City Center’s revival of Carousel. Following fifteen years as a professional dancer—eight as principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company—Monte founded her own company. Since the company’s inception, she has choreographed over thirty works, performed by such companies as the Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Philadanco, Batsheva Dance Company of Israel and others. Obviously influenced to a degree by her work with Graham and Lar Lubovitch, Monte’s signature style is highly athletic, accented with passion, intensity, and daring. In 1982 Monte’s work, Treading, was taken into the repertory of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and this was quickly followed by the commission of Pigs and Fishes for that company. Monte was among the first choreographers awarded a commission by the National Choreography Project.

Watch Elisa Monte's Pigs and Fishes at the Media Arcade in Vol. 38 of the Chamber Dance Company Archive (DVD UWDP 001 v.38).