It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Aileen Passloff, dancer/choreographer/teacher and inspiration to generations of dancers. Aileen passed away Tuesday, November 3rd, at 10:45 PM after a brave five-year battle with breast cancer. Arthur Aviles and Charlotte Hendrickson, two of Aileen's longtime friends and company members, were with her when she died.
Born in the Bronx, October 21, 1931, Aileen never remembered a time when she didn't dance. She attended SAB, where she met James Waring, and made her debut in Waring's company in 1945 at the age of 14. The performance took place at the 92nd Street Y, site of Aileen's last performance in January 2019. She danced with Remy Charlip, Katherine Litz, Toby Armour, and acted in the plays of Irene Fornes. She had her own company in NYC for 10 years and headed the dance department at Bard College for 26 years where, among her many remarkable students, were Arthur Aviles, Liz Prince, Dusan Tynek, Anne Bogart, David Parker, and Charlotte Hendrickson. She was awarded a post-doctoral Fulbright in Spanish dance and taught performance at the Conservatory of Dance in Madrid. Because much of her work was shown at Judson Church, she considered that venue her artistic home, and was an artist-in-residence there. All her life, Aileen was passionate about dancing and teaching.
Catherine Tharin, Aileen's friend and former student, remarked that "Aileen was truly amazing throughout because she was choreographing and teaching up to a few weeks before succumbing. She never complained. She and I spoke every week during covid - lengthy conversations about art, politics, people. She barely mentioned what she was going through, but remained upbeat and wanted to shift the conversation away from her health. She always spoke about how grateful she was for her life as an artist. She always looked for and acknowledged beauty."
A memorial celebration is being planned and will be announced at a later date.