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11 Must-See Photographs From Legendary Dance Photographer Martha Swope



Choreographer Michael Bennett directs dancers in rehearsal for the gala performance number 3,389 of the stage production A Chorus Line in 1983.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection

Famed dance photographer Martha Swope passed away on Thursday, Jan. 12 at the age of 88 from Parkinson’s disease. Her work encompassed everything from ballet to Broadway.

She retired in 1994, but her legacy lives on through the archives of The New York Public Library Digital Collection. Here is a gorgeous sampling of her legendary work.

Read her full obituary at The New York Times.


Bob Fosse watches dancers carefully during the rehearsal period for Dancin' in 1978.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Choreographer Gillian Lynne directing dancers for the 1982 production of Cats.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Musicians leaping in rehearsal for the stage production Dreamgirls in 1981.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Debbie Allen sitting during rehearsal for the stage production West Side Story in 1979.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Choreographer George Faison directing dancers during rehearsal for the stage production The Wiz in 1974.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Director Gower Champion (R) w. dancers Wanda Richert (L) and Lee Roy Reams (2L) during a rehearsal for the Broadway production of the musical 42nd Street.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Actress Liza Minnelli, future choreographer Wayne Cilento (4L) and dancers in a scene from the Broadway production of the musical The Act in 1977.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Ann Reinking in rehearsal for the stage production Dancin' in 1978.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Choreographer Jerome Robbins, in white t-shirt directing male and female chorus members during a rehearsal of West Side Story in 1957.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection


Don Percassi, Michael Bennett and Marvin Hamlisch during rehearsal for A Chorus Line in 1975.

Photo credit: Martha Swope/The New York Public Library Digital Collection

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