American dancer, choreographer, company director, and first generation Pilates instructor
When I visited Eve Gentry at her home we looked through a book of Käthe Kollwritz paintings. “I never made a dance without looking at this,” she told me.
Mary Ann Newhall
Born Los Angeles, 1909. Died 1993.
Eve Gentry served as a board member and teacher for The New Dance Group, a humanistic and pluralistic dance collective founded in New York City in 1932. NDG, whose early slogan was "The dance is a weapon in the class struggle," offered revolutionary intercultural, interracial, and socially responsible art experiences. Born as Henrietta Greenhood in Los Angeles, Gentry left California for New York in 1936 after auditioning for Martha Graham, who offered her a scholarship. Upon her arrival in New York, Gentry auditioned for Hanya Holm, who immediately took her into her company, where she remained as a principal performer until 1942. Gentry directed her own company from 1944 to 1968, and co-founded of the Dance Notation Bureau. After working with Joseph H. Pilates for over twenty years, she also co-founded the Institute for the Pilates Method in 1991. Tenant of the Street, Gentry's signature piece based on imagery from Käthe Kollwitz's art, is a profound work depicting a powerless figure on the fringe of society.