Repertory Dance Theatre

It is with great sadness that RDT announces that our “Artistic Princess” is gone. Kay Clark passed away on Weds, May 27. 2020

Kay Clark in The Incense by Ruth St. Denis

Kay Clark was one of the founding members of Repertory Dance Theatre. In 1966, Kay and seven other dancers were invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to embark on a “bold experiment” to develop the first successful modern dance repertory company.  As an impeccable dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director, Kay helped create an organization that became acclaimed nationally and internationally and developed into a resource center for contemporary dancers, choreographers, visual artists, writers, and composers. 

In 1976, Kay became Co-Artistic Director of RDT, a position she held until 1983. Her dedication to dance, her strong work ethic, organizational skills, and enormous talent left a legacy that continues to inspire the RDT organization. Audience members will remember Kay’s beautiful long blonde hair and her dazzling technique. Linda C. Smith will remember Kay’s strength and determination. “Kay set high standards for RDT and believed in its mission with all her heart and soul. She influenced thousands of dancers. I was just one of the people whose life was changed by our beautiful Artistic Princess.”

“Kay set high standards for RDT and believed in its mission with all her heart and soul. She influenced thousands of dancers. I was just one of the people whose life was changed by our beautiful Artistic Princess.”

Linda C. Smith, Executive/Artistic Director
Linda C. Smith and Kay Clark in the RDT offices in 2014, next to their portrait from 1982.

We would love for you to share any memories of Kay in the comments below.

Comments :

  • Mezieres (formerly Mitchell), Linda

    I am absolutely devastated. I had no idea Kay was struggling with lung cancer. She never let on in her mails to me that she was fighting that kind of losing battle. It’s just that recently her responses to my mails were so brief that I realize now I should have been alarmed. Kay was so very dear to me, such a good and true, long-time friend. She and George came to France to visit in 1975. George wanted to hunt out all of Hemingway’s haunts in Paris. Jean-Claude and I dragged them down to Aveyron instead where we had just invested in an 18th century farmhouse in ruin which we progressively rebuilt into a very pleasant country summer house out in the French sticks. But way out in the sticks the Raine’s found themselves, exploring scenic beauty rather than the coffee shops and restaurants Hemingway depicts in his book Paris is a Moveable Feast. I went to San Francisco with my 10-year-old daughter Emily in 1990 for a reunion at Kay’s home with Ruth Post and her daughter Melinda. (Or is it Melissa? Sorry! I’m 77 years old now and my memory is slipping.) I will nonetheless never forget what a beautiful dancer Kay was and what a lovely, exquisitely unique person she was. She possessed an exceptional kind of aplomb and grace that pervaded everything she did. I admired her immensely.

    While I am at it–if anybody reading this blog can tell me what became of Ruth Post, the third unforgettable member of our 1965 to 1967 University of Utah trio, I would be so grateful to be informed. I am aware that she is no longer alive, but that is all I know. I don’t know what happened to her and have unfortunately lost all contact with her family. Ruth’s father Roy came to Paris to visit us several times, but I haven’t gotten any response from that corner in quite some time. Undoubtedly Roy and Becky are no longer alive to respond.

    What news of Joan Moon (once Armstrong)? Another unforgettable personality connected to my memories of Kay and the University of Utah back in 1965-67. Are you still there, Joan? How are you? I know you must also feel sadly bereaved by Kay’s death. How old is your son now? Emily is 40 and her dance career is still going strong, or at least was until the Corona-virus hit and all her performances were cancelled for months to come.

    My heartfelt condoleances to all those who unconsolably grieve Kay’s passing, as do I.

    My warm greetings to anyone I know who reads this,

    Linda Mitchell Mezieres

    May 31, 2020
    10:24 pm
  • Katie Tetzlaff Larsen

    Kay was my teacher at Mills and my friend. After grad school, she was a rooter and supporter of my work and we got to dance together a couple times in the city. I shake my skirt to you Kay. You’ll be missed.
    Katie Tetzlaff Larsen
    MFA Mills College’90

    August 12, 2020
    10:54 pm
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