William Louther

William Louther

William Louther was the first black dancer to appear regularly with an English dance company. He had worked with Alvin Ailey and was with Martha Graham's company when he came to England to appear with the embryo London Contemporary Dance Theatre in the early 1970s. He was a charismatic personality, and his performances at times reached the level of genius.

This photograph shows Louther performing a swirling jump from Robert Cohan's 1971 work, The Consolation of the Rising Moon, danced to music arranged and played by the great guitarist John Williams. The ballet was an uneasy mix of oriental and Spanish styles, but was dominated by Louther as a priest-like figure. He was dressed in a long, skirt-like garment, which, as so often in contemporary dance, became a central part of the choreography.