Eleanor King, 1906–91
"Eleanor King struck out from the Humphrey-Weidman Company in 1935 to concentrate on her own choreography. Teaching led her to professor emeritus status in 1971 when she retired from 19 years work at the University of Arkansas. But she never stood still, in mind or body—teaching here, choreographing there, studying mime with Etienne Decroux when she was nearly 50, tackling Noh in Kyoto at 54, tai chi two years later, at 70 beginning the study of classical Korean dance in Seoul, making and performing her 'East–West dances,' and turning out a wonderful autobiography, Transformations.
In 1987, the audience at a symposium dealing with Leonide Massine's 1930 Le Sacre du Printemps was stupefied when King, a frail and beautiful 81-year-old, burst from her panelist's chair, and started running through the very strenuous choreography. In 1988, we rejoiced over a retrospective program—of fine King solos reconstructed by dancer Andrea Seidel (who had learned and performed them), King herself, and Annabelle Garrison for Gamson's company of soloists. This February, she was in Oak Park, Illinois, for a tribute concert and another King reconstruction, when she had a heart attack, fell, and broke her hip. A friend who visited her in the hospital found her mastering a walker, calling out gaily, 'C'est la guerre!' Given her lifetime habit of hatching new plans, death didn't find her waiting passively."
— Deborah Jowitt (used with permission, reprinted From The Village Voice: Dance, March 13–19, 1991)