As a high school student in Kentucky, Mary Anthony was first introduced to modern dance in the style of Mary Wigman. While a junior at Ohio Wesleyan she attended a concert of Martha Graham's solo works.
This proved to be the decisive event for Ms. Anthony who then moved to Manhattan (1940's).
Her early studies and scholarship awards were with Hanya Holm. During her second year with Ms. Holm, Miss Anthony was invited into the company, becoming her assistant a year later.
While on tour in London with a production of TOUCH AND GO (1950), in which she had the lead, she was invited to work in Italy, to teach, perform and choreograph for their musical theater (1950-54. 1960-61).
The Mary Anthony Dance Studio was founded in 1954, and the company, The Mary Anthony Dance Theater, two years later.
As artistic director of the company and the studio, Ms. Anthony's vision has remained true to the original sprit of modern dance.
Following the premiere of Ms. Anthony's signature work THRENODY (1956) - for which Benjamin Britten gave special permission to use his SINFONIA Louis Horst wrote, "Here is the most beautiful and complete dance composition this observer has seen÷ this is something approaching perfection."
As Walter Terry saw it, "Her dance springs from the pulse of the heart and courses outward into the drama of life (N.Y. Tribune).
Jennifer Dunning (N.Y. Times) has described Ms. Anthony's SONGS (1957) as "hauntingly lyrical (with ) the emphasis ÷ on simplicity and an ageless craft."
Ms. Anthony was one of a handful of pioneers who brought serious modern dance to television in such programs as LAMP UNTO MY FEET and LOOK UP AND LIVE.
This unfortunately short-lived experiment of early net work broadcasting presented a unique opportunity to introduce dancers such as Bertram Ross, Jane Dudley, Robert Cohan and (Peter) Paul Taylor to a mass audience.
In addition to the choreography of Mary Anthony and Kun-Yang Lin, associate artistic director, the company repertoire includes works by Anna Sokolow, Lester Horton, Ross Parkes, and Charles Weidman.
The company has performed across the United Stated, including three consecutive summers at the Tangelwood.
Ms. Anthony's works have been added to the repertoire of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Dancefusion of Philadelphia, the Bat-Dor company of Israel, the Dublin City Ballet, and the Cloud-Gate Theater/National Institute of the Arts of Taiwan.
Since its opening forty years ago, the studio has provided an outstanding learning environment, designed by
Ms. Anthony to awaken and foster the individual creative gifts of her students.
Her method of training builds dancers as creative theater artists and performers with the ultimate goal being mastery of both the inner and outer instrument.
Ms. Anthony teaches daily technique classes in fundamental through advanced levels, private lessons, holds repertory classes and rehearsals for a May through November New York season, and offers quarterly choreography workshops with public performances.