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Alwin Nikolais

American choreographer, composer, stage/costume/lighting designer, teacher, and theatrical innovator
Alwin Nikolais


I found out that art is motion, not emotion.
Alwin Nikolais

Born Southington, Connecticut, November 25, 1910. Died May 8, 1993.
Alwin Nikolais was an American choreographer, composer, stage and lighting designer, teacher, and theatrical innovator. With such diverse talents, Nikolais was able to take complete responsibility for all production aspects of his work. Employing innovations far ahead of his time, his choreography is characterized by an interaction of light, sound, color, time, shape, props and moving bodies in space. The undisputed master of “total theater,” Nikolais amazed audiences for more than fifty-five years with multimedia spectacles. A celebrated artist, Nikolais’s awards include honorary doctorates from the University of Utah and University of Illinois, the National Medal of Arts and the Grande Medaille-de-Vermeille de la Ville de Paris, among many others. Tensile Involvement, affectionately referred to as Web, is one of Nikolais’s most acclaimed works and a favorite of CDC audiences.

Alwin Nikolais' Works

Tensile Involvement

Premiere Date: 1953


Premiere Date: 1982

Imago Suite (The City Curious)

Premiere Date: 1963