Ben Vereen is an American actor and singer who has appeared in numerous Broadway theatre shows. Vereen graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts. Vereen was born Benjamin Augustus Middleton on October 10, 1946, in Florida. While still an infant and his family relocated to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, he was adopted by James Vereen, a paint-factory worker, his wife, who worked as a maid and theatre wardrobe mistress. He discovered he was adopted when he applied for a passport to join Sammy Davis, Jr. on a tour of "Golden Boy" to London when he was 25. He was raised Pentecostal. During his pre-teen years, he exhibited an innate talent for drama and dance and performed in local variety shows. At the age of 14, Vereen enrolled at the High School of Performing Arts, where he studied under world-renowned choreographers Martha Graham, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins. Upon his graduation, he struggled to find suitable stage work and was forced to take odd jobs to supplement his income.
He was 18 years old when he made his New York stage bow off-off Broadway in The Prodigal Son at the Greenwich Mews Theater. By the following year, he was in Las Vegas, performing in Bob Fosse's production of Sweet Charity, a show with which he toured in 1967–68, he returned to New York City to play Claude in Hair in the Broadway production, before joining the national touring company. The following year, he was cast opposite Davis in the film adaptation of Sweet Charity. After developing a rapport with Davis, Vereen was cast as his understudy in the upcoming production of Golden Boy, which toured England and ended the run at the Palladium Theatre in London's West End. Vereen was nominated for a Tony Award for Jesus Christ Superstar in 1972 and won a Tony for his appearance in Pippin in 1973. Vereen appeared in the Broadway musical Wicked as the Wizard of Oz in 2005. Vereen has performed in one-man shows and lectures on black history and inspirational topics. Vereen has starred in numerous television programs, is well known for the role of'Chicken' George Moore in Alex Haley's landmark TV miniseries Roots, for which he received an Emmy nomination in 1977.
Vereen's four-week summer variety series, Ben Vereen... Comin' At Ya, aired on NBC in August 1975 and featured regulars Lola Falana, Avery Schreiber and Liz Torres. In 1978, on a Boston Pops TV special, Vereen performed a tribute to Bert Williams, complete with period makeup and attire, reprising Williams' high-kick dance steps, to vaudeville standards such as "Waitin' for the Robert E. Lee". In 1981, Vereen performed at Ronald Reagan's first inauguration; the performance generated controversy. Before the finale, ABC cut the live performance, generating confusion and anger from viewers at home, he was cast opposite Jeff Goldblum in Brown Shoe. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Vereen worked on television with projects ranging from the sitcom Webster to the drama Silk Stalkings. In 1985, Vereen starred in the Faerie Tale Theatre series as Puss in Boots alongside Gregory Hines, he appeared on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse", in which he played Will Smith's biological father, Lou Smith.
He made several appearances on the 1980s sitcom Webster as the title character's biological uncle. He appeared as Mayor Ben on the children's program Zoobilee Zoo and as Itsy Bitsy Spider in Mother Goose Rock'n' Rhyme. In 1993 he appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Interface" as the father of Roots co-star LeVar Burton's character Geordi La Forge. In Roots, Vereen had played "Chicken George", the grandson of Burton's character Kunta Kinte, he appeared on the television series The Nanny episode "Pishke Business". In 2010, he appeared on the television series How I Met Your Mother episodes "Cleaning House" and "False Positive" as Sam Gibbs, the long lost father of James Gibbs, Barney Stinson's brother, he returned in 2014 for another two episodes. Sweet Charity Gas-s-s-s Funny Lady All That Jazz This Boxer Wears a Shirt Cycling Through China Sabine The Zoo Gang Buy & Cell Once Upon a Forest Why Do Fools Fall in Love I'll Take You There The Painting Idlewild And Then Came Love Tapioca Accidental Friendship Mama, I Want to Sing!
Broadway: The Next Generation Khumba Mkhulu the Elder Zebra Time Out of Mind Dixon Top Five Ben Vereen... Comin' at Ya Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style The Muppet Show Roots The Carol Burnett Show The Sentry Collection Presents Ben Vereen: His Roots Tenspeed and Brown Shoe Pippin: His Life and Times The Love Boat SCTV 1984 The Charmkins The Jesse Owens Story Ellis Island Webster A. D; the Magic of David Copperfield VIII: Walking Through the Great Wall of China Lost in London roots Faerie Tale Theatre Puss in Boots Zoobilee Zoo You Write the Songs Jenny's Song J. J. Starbuck Rockin' Through the Decades The Kid Who Loved Christmas Mother Goose Rock'n' Rhyme Booker: "The Life and Death of Chick Sterling" Silk Stalkings Intruders Star Trek: The Nex
Sacramento is the capital city of the U. S. state of California and the seat of Sacramento County. Located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in Northern California's Sacramento Valley, Sacramento's estimated 2018 population of 501,334 makes it the sixth-largest city in California and the ninth largest capital in the United States. Sacramento is the seat of the California Assembly, the Governor of California, Supreme Court of California, making it the state's political center and a hub for lobbying and think tanks. Sacramento is the cultural and economic core of the Sacramento metropolitan area, which had 2010 population of 2,414,783, making it the fifth largest in California. Sacramento is the fastest-growing major city in California, owing to its status as a notable financial center on the West Coast and as a major educational hub, home of Sacramento State University and University of California, Davis. Sacramento is a major center for the California healthcare industry, as the seat of Sutter Health, the world-renowned UC Davis Medical Center, the UC Davis School of Medicine, notable tourist destination in California, as the site of The California Museum, the Crocker Art Museum, California Hall of Fame, the California State Capitol Museum, the Old Sacramento State Historic Park.
Sacramento is known for its evolving contemporary culture, dubbed the most "hipster city" in California. In 2002, the Harvard University Civil Rights Project conducted for Time magazine named Sacramento "America's Most Diverse City". Before the arrival of the Spanish, the area was inhabited by the Nisenan people indigenous peoples of California. Spanish cavalryman Gabriel Moraga surveyed and named the Rio del Santísimo Sacramento in 1808, after the Blessed Sacrament, referring to the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. In 1839, Juan Bautista Alvarado, Mexican governor of Alta California granted the responsibility of colonizing the Sacramento Valley to Swiss-born, Mexican citizen John Augustus Sutter, who subsequently established Sutter's Fort and the settlement at the Rancho Nueva Helvetia. Following the American Conquest of California and the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the waterfront developed by Sutter began to be developed and incorporated in 1850 as the City of Sacramento; as a result of the California Gold Rush, Sacramento became a major commercial center and distribution point for Northern California, serving as the terminus for the Pony Express and the First Transcontinental Railroad.
Nisenan and Plains Miwok Native Americans had lived in the area for thousands of years. Unlike the settlers who would make Sacramento their home, these Native Americans left little evidence of their existence. Traditionally, their diet was dominated by acorns taken from the plentiful oak trees in the region, by fruits, bulbs and roots gathered throughout the year. In 1808, the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga discovered and named the Sacramento Valley and the Sacramento River. A Spanish writer with the Moraga expedition wrote: "Canopies of oaks and cottonwoods, many festooned with grapevines, overhung both sides of the blue current. Birds chattered in the trees and big fish darted through the pellucid depths; the air was like champagne, drank deep of it, drank in the beauty around them. "¡Es como el sagrado sacramento!" The valley and the river were christened after the "Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ", referring to the Catholic sacrament of the Eucharist. John Sutter Sr. first arrived in the area on August 13, 1839, at the divergence of the American and Sacramento Rivers with a Mexican land grant of 50,000 acres.
The next year, he and his party established Sutter's Fort, a massive adobe structure with walls eighteen feet high and three feet thick. Representing Mexico, Sutter Sr. called his colony New Helvetia, a Swiss inspired name, was the political authority and dispenser of justice in the new settlement. Soon, the colony began to grow as more pioneers headed west. Within just a few short years, Sutter Sr. had become a grand success, owning a ten-acre orchard and a herd of thirteen thousand cattle. Fort Sutter became a regular stop for the increasing number of immigrants coming through the valley. In 1847 Sutter Sr. received 2,000 fruit trees, which started the agriculture industry in the Sacramento Valley. That same year, Sutter Sr. hired James Marshall to build a sawmill so that he could continue to expand his empire, unbeknownst to many, Sutter Sr.'s "empire" had been built on some thin margins of credit. In 1848, when gold was discovered by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, a large number of gold-seekers came to the area, increasing the population.
In August 1848 Sutter Sr.'s son, John Sutter Jr. arrived in the area to assist his father in relieving his indebtedness. Now compounding the problem of his father's indebtedness, was the additional strain placed on the Sutters by the ongoing arrival of thousands of new gold miners and prospectors in the area, many quite content to squat on unwatched portions of the vast Sutter lands, or to abscond with various unattended Sutter properties or belongings if they could. In Sutter's case, rather than being a'boon' for Sutter, his employee's discovery of gold in the area turned out to be more of a personal'bane' for him. By December 1848, John Sutter Jr. in association with Sam Brannan, began laying out the City of Sacramento, 2 miles south of his father's settlement of New Helvetia. This venture was undertaken against the wishes of Sutter Sr. however the father, being in debt, was in no position to stop the venture. For
Martha Graham was an American modern dancer and choreographer. Her style, the Graham technique, is still taught worldwide, she taught for over seventy years. Graham was the first dancer to perform at the White House, travel abroad as a cultural ambassador, receive the highest civilian award of the US: the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction. In her lifetime she received honors ranging from the Key to the City of Paris to Japan's Imperial Order of the Precious Crown, she said, in the 1994 documentary The Dancer Revealed, "I have spent all my life with dance and being a dancer. It's permitting life to use you in a intense way. Sometimes it is not pleasant. Sometimes it is fearful, but it is inevitable." Graham was born in Allegheny City – to become part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – in 1894. Her father, George Graham, practiced as what in the Victorian era was known as an "alienist", a practitioner of an early form of psychiatry; the Grahams were strict Presbyterians. Dr. Graham was a third-generation American of Irish descent.
Her mother, Jane Beers, was a second-generation American of Irish, Scots-Irish, English ancestry, claimed descent from Myles Standish. While her parents provided a comfortable environment in her youth, it was not one that encouraged dancing; the Graham family moved to California when Martha was fourteen years old. In 1911, she attended the first dance performance of her life, watching Ruth St. Denis perform at the Mason Opera House in Los Angeles. In the mid-1910s, Martha Graham began her studies at the newly created Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts, founded by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, at which she would stay until 1923. In 1922, Graham performed one of Shawn's Egyptian dances with Lillian Powell in a short silent film by Hugo Riesenfeld that attempted to synchronize a dance routine on film with a live orchestra and an onscreen conductor; when she left the Denishawn establishment in 1923, Graham did so with an urge to make dance an art form, more grounded in the rawness of the human experience as opposed to just a mere form of entertainment.
This motivated Graham to strip away the more decorative movements of ballet and of her training at the Denishawn school and focus more on the foundational aspects of movement. In 1925, Graham was employed at the Eastman School of Music where Rouben Mamoulian was head of the School of Drama. Among other performances, together Mamoulian and Graham produced a short two-color film called The Flute of Krishna, featuring Eastman students. Mamoulian left Eastman shortly thereafter and Graham chose to leave even though she was asked to stay on. In 1926, the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance was established. On April 18 of the same year Graham debuted her first independent concert, consisting of 18 short solos and trios that she had choreographed; this performance took place at the 48th Street Theatre in Manhattan. She would say of the concert: "Everything I did was influenced by Denishawn." On November 28, 1926 Martha Graham and others in her company gave a dance recital at the Klaw Theatre in New York City.
Around the same time she entered an extended collaboration with Japanese-American pictorialist photographer Soichi Sunami, over the next five years they together created some of the most iconic images of early modern dance. One of Graham's students was heiress Bethsabée de Rothschild with; when Rothschild moved to Israel and established the Batsheva Dance Company in 1965, Graham became the company's first director. Graham's technique pioneered a principle known as "Contraction and Release" in modern dance, derived from a stylized conception of breathing. Contraction and Release: The desire to highlight a more base aspect of human movement led Graham to create the "contraction and release", for which she would become known for; each movement could separately be used to express either positive or negative, freeing or constricting emotions depending on the placement of the head. The contraction and release were both the basis for Graham's weighted and grounded style, in direct opposition to classical ballet techniques that aim to create an illusion of weightlessness.
To counter the more percussive and staccato movements, Graham added the spiral shape to the vocabulary of her technique to incorporate a sense of fluidity. Following her first concert made up of solos, Graham created Heretic, the first group piece of many that showcased a clear diversion from her days with Denishawn, served as an insight to her work that would follow in the future. Made up of constricted and sharp movement with the dancers clothed unglamorously, the piece centered around the theme of rejection—one that would reoccur in other Graham works down the line; as time went on Graham moved away from the more stark design aesthetic she embraced, began incorporating more elaborate sets and scenery to her work. To do this, she collaborated with Isamu Noguchi—a Japanese American designer—whose eye for set design was a complimentary match to Graham's choreography. Within the many themes which Graham incorporated into her work, there were two that she seemed to adhere to the most—Americana and Greek Mythology.
One of Graham's most known pieces that incorporates the American life theme is Appalachian Spring. She collaborated with the composer Aaron Copland—who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the piece—and Noguchi, who created the nonliteral set; as she did Graham placed herself in her own piece as the bride of a newly married couple whose optimism for starting a new life together is countered by a grounded pioneer woman and a sermon giving revivalist. Two of Graham's pieces—Cave
Robert Joffrey was an American dancer, producer, co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet, known for his imaginative modern ballets. He was born Anver Bey Abdullah Jaffa Khan in Seattle, Washington to a Pashtun father from Afghanistan and a mother from Italy. Joffrey began his dance training at nine years old in Seattle as a remedy for asthma under instructor Mary Anne Wells, he studied ballet and modern dance in New York City and made his debut in 1949 with the French choreographer Roland Petit and his Ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris. From 1950 to 1955, he taught at the New York High School for the Performing Arts, where he staged his earliest ballets, he founded the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City in 1953, where it remains as a separate organization from The Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago, the official school of the Joffrey Ballet Company. As one of the first prolific choreographers to have studied both modern dance and ballet, his choreography began to create the hybrid between modern and ballet, common today.
His choreography seamlessly blends the precise footwork and grace of classical ballet with the floorwork, upper body dexterity, raw emotion of modern dance. In 1954, he formed his own company, which premiered Pierrot Lunaire. Joffrey's other works include Gamelan and Astarte, set to rock music with special lighting and motion-picture effects; the pas de deux features a man who leaves his seat in the audience to climb on stage for an erotic dance with the "tattooed love goddess". In 1956, six dancers drove around the country in a station wagon, performing twenty-three shows in eleven states; this was the first tour of the Robert Joffrey Studio Dancers, they soon performed in India, the Middle East, the Soviet Union, at the White House. The Robert Joffrey Ballet took up residence at New York City Center in 1966 replacing New York City Ballet and changing its name to the City Center Joffrey Ballet. In 1982, it moved its principal activities in 1995 to Chicago. Noted for its experimental repertoire, the company was called the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago after its move but has since returned to being called the Joffrey Ballet.
Besides Joffrey's works its repertoire includes many works by Gerald Arpino, Joffrey's long-time co-director, romantic partner, artistic director emeritus until his 2008 death, ballets commissioned by Joffrey from new choreographers as well as works by such established choreographers as George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey and Twyla Tharp. He prided himself on creating a dynamic and diverse repertory, bringing modern dance choreographers such as Tharp and Ailey to ballet audiences for the first time, the restaging of classic Ballet Russes ballets, The Joffrey Ballet was the first American company to perform the work of Danish choreographer August Bournonville. Robert Joffrey departed from the traditional ranking system seen in most ballet companies where most dancers know the caliber of roles they will receive based on ranking, he opted instead for an ensemble group that could change in and out of leading roles, leading to a stronger sense of unity. He was co-president of the International Dance Committee with Bolshoi Ballet Director Yuri Grigorovich, a member of the National Council of the Arts, a juror for Denmark's Hans Christian Andersen Dance Awards, has won the Dance Magazine Award, the Capezio Award, New York City's Handel Medallion.
Joffrey died in New York City of HIV/AIDS on March 25, 1988, at age 57. He is interred at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. To protect the reputation of his company, obituaries listed the cause of death as organ failure. Joffrey was inducted into the National Museum of Dance's Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame in 2000; the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation Joffrey Ballet Official Website Robert Joffrey at Find a Grave Joffrey Ballet School in New York City
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used for documentation in libraries and also by archives and museums; the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero licence; the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format; the Integrated Authority File became operational in April 2012 and integrates the content of the following authority files, which have since been discontinued: Name Authority File Corporate Bodies Authority File Subject Headings Authority File Uniform Title File of the Deutsches Musikarchiv At the time of its introduction on 5 April 2012, the GND held 9,493,860 files, including 2,650,000 personalised names.
There are seven main types of GND entities: LIBRIS Virtual International Authority File Information pages about the GND from the German National Library Search via OGND Bereitstellung des ersten GND-Grundbestandes DNB, 19 April 2012 From Authority Control to Linked Authority Data Presentation given by Reinhold Heuvelmann to the ALA MARC Formats Interest Group, June 2012