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Tony award-winning Broadway choreographer Bob Avian dies aged 83

Bob Avian, the Tony award-winning Broadway mainstay both on stage and off for over four decades, died Thursday in Ft Lauderdale, Florida, following a cardiac arrest. The co-choreographer for A Chorus Line and Ballroom was 83.

Born in New York City on 26 December 1937, Avian attended Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and the Boston Ballet School and made his Broadway debut in the original stage production of West Side Story. Trained as a dancer, he garnered further recognition alongside Barbra Streisand in the 1964 stage production of Funny Girl, before linking up with his longtime creative partner, the choreographer and director Michael Bennett, for a string of shows including Promises, Promises, Coco, Company, Follies, Twigs, Seesaw and God’s Favorite.

The pair won several Tonys for their work on A Chorus Line and Ballroom, for which Avian also served as a producer. Avian went on to be a lead producer on the original and national tour productions of Dreamgirls, which won six Tony awards in 1982.

Avian also created the musical staging, both in London and on Broadway, for Miss Saigon and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard; won the Olivier Award in 1997 for his direction of Martin Guerre; and directed the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line. His memoir Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey, co-written with Tom Santopietro, was published in 2020.

He is survived by his husband, Peter Pileski, and his sister, Laura Nabedian, according to Broadway Buzz.

Reference: Guardian: Adrian Horton  





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