Marion Rice

Marion Rice

Marion Rice in Ruth St Denis' Tunisienne 1940
Born September 9, 1904
Fitchburg, Massachusetts, U.S.
Education Sullins College, Bristol, Virginia
Occupation Dancer, teacher, choreographer, producer
Years active 1928–1990
Spouse(s) James Parker Rice

Marion Burbank Stevens Rice (September 9, 1904 – April 12, 1995) was an American modern dance choreographer, dance teacher and producer.

Early life

Rice was born in Hingham, Massachusetts. She studied ballet at Sullins College.[1] She settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and founded the "Marion Rice Studio of the Dance" where she taught and performed Denishawn technique for over 60 years. She studied in the late 1920s and early 30's with Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis, Miriam Winslow and the Braggiotti sisters at the Braggiotti-Denishawn School of Dance in Boston, often performing Denishawn works in their concerts.

Other work

She produced work by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn as well as her own choreography. Among the dancers and choreographers she trained were her daughter Carolyn Brown of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, her daughter-in-law Mona Irvine Rice, and her granddaughters Robin Rice and Rebecca Rice.

Dance company

She also operated her own dance company, the Marion Rice Denishawn Dancers, and in 1980 staged her version of "Soaring," for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. Marion Rice Denishawn performed at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in 1972, the Marymount Manhattan Theater (New York) in 1976 and City College (New York) in 1986 at the "Roots: Foundations of American Modern Dance Festival".[2]

Current events

In 2000, Marion Rice Denishawn performed in the "Dance in Millennium" Festival in Washington, DC. The company presented "Boston Braggiotti and Denishawn", a lecture demonstration illuminating a select number of the early Denishawn works.

Anna Kisselgoff wrote in the New York Times:

"Marion Rice's stagings of Denishawn works are always fresh and beautiful – the perfect example was the St. Denis Valse No. 14 in which Robin Rice and Rebecca Rice were also swathed in swirling fabric – but much more actively so than in theFuller solo. The amount of basic ballet taught in the Denishawn schools was evident in Robin Rice's luminous performance of Shawn's Red Radiance.[3]


  1. Ross, Juanita. "Marion Rice - Dance pioneer helped community to appreciate fine arts," Sentinel & Enterprise, August 2, 2014. Accessed August 29, 2016.
  3. Kisselgoff, Anna (October 21, 1986). "Dance: Roots of an American Art Form". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-21.
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