As Nigel Lythgoe mentioned on last night’s show, the United States Postal Service will pay tribute to four influential choreographers – Isadora Duncan, José Limón, Katherine Dunham, and Bob Fosse – with Innovative Choreographers stamps. The postage stamps will be available starting on National Dance Day, July 28, 2012.
From the USPS.com:
- The stamp design for Isadora Duncan shows her seemingly effortless style that paved the way for modern dance. Radical for its time, her linking of movement and expressiveness garnered her worldwide critical aclaim.
- Shown in a performance pose in the stamp, José Limón frequently drew inspiration from history, literature, and religion, and used natural movement and gesture in his choreography. His virile, powerful works elevated the importance of the male dancer in modern dance.
- Founder of one of the first African-American dance companies in the United States, Katherine Dunham was the first choreographer to develop a formal dance technique that combined Caribbean and African dance elements with aspects of ballet. She is shown in a pose from her critically acclaimed ballet L’Ag’Ya.
- Bob Fosse, celebrated for directing and choreographing musicals on both stage and screen, is shown on the set of Sweet Charity (1969). Fosse received one Oscar, three Emmys, and nine Tony awards during his career. Yet perhaps his greatest contribution was in making dance accessible to millions.
Designed to look like posters advertising a performance, the stamp art captures the luminosity and mystery of a live dance performance. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps using illustrations in watercolor on vintage paper by artist James McMullan.
The Innovative Choreographers stamps are being issued as Forever stamps in self-adhesive sheets of 20 (5 of each design). Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.