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Michio Ito

Michio Ito
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Nickolas Muray, 15 Feb 1892 - 2 Nov 1965
Michio Ito, 13 Apr 1893 - 6 Nov 1961
1921 (printed 1978)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 24.5 x 19.5 cm (9 5/8 x 7 11/16")
Mat: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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Usage conditions apply
© Courtesy Nickolas Muray Photo Archives
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Exhibition Label
Born Tokyo, Japan
Growing up in Japan, Michio Ito was trained in traditional Noh theater. When he traveled to Paris in 1911 and saw both Isadora Duncan and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, his interest in dance was sparked.
By 1916 he was creating choreography that combined Eastern techniques with Western movement, music, lighting, and costuming. He immigrated to New York and eventually formed a troupe of six dancers that toured the country. Landing in Hollywood in 1929, he created “symphonic choreographies” that were performed in such outdoor spaces as the Hollywood Bowl; he also contributed to six movies, including Madame Butterfly (1933).
After Pearl Harbor was bombed, Ito was interned in New Mexico until 1943, when he repatriated to Japan as part of a prisoner exchange. After the war, he choreographed revues for American occupation troops at the Ernie Pyle Theatre in Tokyo.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection