National Museum of Dance Collection
National Museum of Dance Collection
National Museum of Dance Collection

Eleo Pomare

The Museum’s unprecedented 2011 exhibition, Eleo Pomare: The Man, The Artist, The Maker of Artists, celebrated the prodigious career of Colombian-American choreographer and contemporary dance trailblazer, Eleo Pomare. After establishing his first company in New York in 1958, Pomare left for Europe in 1962 to study with German Expressionist choreographer Kurt Jooss on a John Hay Whitney Opportunity Fellowship. Prompted by the civil rights movement, from which he drew inspiration for numerous provocative dance works for the Eleo Pomare Dance Company, he returned to the United States permanently in 1964. His choreography was largely distinguished by its strong sociopolitical themes, and his performances were celebrated for their power and truth. At the close of Eleo Pomare: The Man, The Artist, The Maker of Artists, a large collection of artifacts from the company was given to the Museum on permanent loan. This important assemblage conveys the breadth of Pomare’s artistry and includes costumes from both signature and seminal dance works such as Missa Luba (1965), Las Desenamorada (1967), Narcissus Rising (1968), and Phoenix (1987). Several works of fine art by Pomare that inspired his choreography also comprise this collection, including ink drawings and oil and watercolor paintings.