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Allegra Kent

KENT, ALLEGRA (1938– ), U.S. dancer. Kent was born in Santa Monica, California. Her mother, born in Wisznice, Poland, steered the family toward Christian Science and changed their last name from Cohen to Kent. Inspired by George Balanchine's Night Shadow, Kent studied with Bronislava and Irina Nijinska, and with Carmelita Maracci, and at the School of American Ballet. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1953 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1957, creating roles in such Balanchine ballets as Ivesiana (1954), Agon (1957), Bugaku (1963), and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (1966), as well as in Dances at a Gathering (1969) and Dumbarton Oaks (1972) for Jerome *Robbins. In 1962 she made a highly successful tour in the U.S.S.R., dancing in the Kremlin. During her nearly 30 years with the New York City Ballet, she interrupted her career three times to have children. She retired in 1981 to work as a teacher. In 1997 she published her autobiography, Once a Dancer.


N. Abrahami, in: P.E. Hyman and D.D. Moore, Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, vol.1 (1997), 735–37.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.