James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list

Daniel Nagrin Gone

from The Arizona Republic

Dancer’s choreography defied gravity

When he was a teenager, Daniel Nagrin learned to cope with the burden of homework. He’d plug away for hours, but before long, he couldn’t stand it anymore.

He’d jump from his seat, flip on the radio and dance. Dance. Dance. Dance.

In telling the tale, he described such outbursts as intoxicating, happy with the “sheer act of flying over furniture.” He should have known then that his plan to become a psychiatrist was headed down a new path.

Nagrin eventually followed the beat he couldn’t ignore, becoming an eminent professional dancer and choreographer known for his frenetic, passionate style. A private man who often couched his emotions in public, he let his guard down on stage, leaving audiences rocking from poignant and raw techniques.

He never garnered the fame of a Mikhail Baryshnikov but ironically, it was Baryshnikov who once told a reporter that Nagrin was one of his heroes.

Nagrin, who defied the laws of physics with leaps that seemed to hang in midair, had a career that spanned New York City’s Broadway to the academic halls as a dance professor at Arizona State University in Tempe. He danced for decades, until just a few years ago. Illness finally sidelined him, and he died Dec. 29. The Tempe resident was 91.


[ click to continue reading at The Arizona Republic ]

Posted on January 18, 2009 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »