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EDNA DIEMAN, a teacher-choreographer whose staged productions included a Hindu version of Swan Lake, died Sept. 22, just two days short of her ninety-sixth birthday, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Dieman and Julia Bennett established their dance studio in Cedar Rapids in 1951, followed by its resident dance company, the Dieman-Bennett Dance Theater of the Hemispheres. Their production of The Nutcracker at Cedar Rapids' Paramount Theater from 1972 until the mid- 1980s became a holiday tradition, but Dieman was also known for staging productions of Sleeping Beauty and Hansel and Gretel. Dieman and Bennett taught ethnic dance and classical ballet in their academy of dance for more than forty years. Among the guest artists they brought to Cedar Rapids to perform with the resident dance company were Katharyn Horne, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Chinkao Rafique, Leningrad Kirov Ballet; Burton Taylor, Joffrey Ballet, and Ted Kivitt of American Ballet Theater.

Dieman studied dance for twenty years in New York City before meeting Bennett there in 1945. Dieman received the Coe College Alumni Award of Merit in 1975, and she held an honorary doctorate from Cornell College. She is survived by Bennett, her friend and colleague, and by a nephew.

DARLENE NEEL, 58, a Bella Lewitzky Dance Company manager and founder of Darlene Neel Presentations, died December 3 of cancer after a brief illness.

Neel's friends and colleagues at Western Arts Alliance (WAA) said her professional and personal life was an inspiration to all, and her loss significant to the entire performing arts community.

As the company manager of the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company for twenty-six years, Neel was a tireless promoter of the art form. She launched her own artist management company in 1993 and in 1995 was nominated for WAA's Jerry Willis and Betty Connors Awards, a testament to her widely respected contributions to that organization and to the entire field.

She is survived by two sisters, Earlene Subias and Cathlene Gould, and a niece, Vanessa Goldstein. Contributions can be made to the Darlene Neel Dance Scholarship Fund at: California Institute of the Arts.

For additional information, call Carol Neyer at CalArts, (661) 222-2750.

LUCAS HOVING, choreographer, educator, former artistic advisor to the Jose Limon Company, and a modern dancer known for his roles in works by Kurt Jooss and Martha Graham, died at his home in Berkeley, California, January 5. He was eighty-seven.

Born in Groningen, the Netherlands, Hoving received his first dance training in his home town from Neel Kuiper, a pupil and protege of Mary Wigman's. After studies in Amsterdam, a scholarship enabled him to work with another German expressionist, the exiled Kurt Jooss, whose company in England he joined in 1938, dancing among others the role of the Politician in The Green Table.

World War II stranded Hoving in New York, where he studied and dance with Martha Graham (Letter to the World) and also performed on Broadway. But it was with Jose Limon whose humanistic approach to dance struck a chord with him, and with whom Hoving found his artistic home. He performed with Limon from 1948 to 1963, serving in his later years as the company's artistic advisor.

Hoving may always be best remembered as the fair and lanky Iago to Jose Limon's towering Othello in the latter's 1949 The Moor's Pavane. But he also created major roles in other Limon works, such as in The Emperor Jones, La Malinche, and There is a Time. On his own, Hoving had a duet touring act with his wife, Lavina Nielsen, and choreographed assiduously for his Lucas Hoving Dance Company (Icarus), often using advanced contemporary music.

Early in his career Hoving also became a much sought-after teacher and giver of master classes in the U.S. and abroad. He started teaching at the American Dance Festival in 1948, an association which he continued until the early nineties. His last performance at ADF was Growing Up in Public, a solo which Remy Charlip had created for Hoving in 1984 based on the artist's remembrances of his life.
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Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2000
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