“I never achieved great fame – no heights of incredible glory. But any strong endeavor that gives you a sense of joy is the greatest thing in life. “

SONO OSATO, 1919 - 2018

For this week’s #DanceHistory lesson, let’s take a moment to learn more about the groundbreaking Sono Osato, a Japanese-American dancer who recently passed away at the age of 99 in December of 2018.

Ms. Osato began her career at the age of 14 as the youngest member of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, and as the troupe's first Japanese-American performer. Having then moved on in the early 1940s to dance with the Ballet Theater (now American Ballet Theater), performing such roles as Rosaline in his “Romeo and Juliet” and a woman of easy virtue in his “Pillar of Fire.”, Ms. Osato was also best known for originating the role of Miss Turnstiles in Jerome Robbins' hit On the Town—one of Broadway's first non-segregated musicals.

Learn more about the inspiring Sono Osato here & here, and by browsing the videos and photos below!

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