Monday, October 1, 2012

Dance Cover from U.S.A.

Many thanks to Bryon Peterson for this lovely cover posted from Seattle, Washington, U.S.A!
On July 28, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service pays tribute to four influential choreographers who changed the art of dance: Isadora Duncan, José Limón, Katherine Dunham, and Bob Fosse. 
The stamp design for Isadora Duncan shows her seemingly effortless style that paved the way for modern dance. Radical for its time, her linking of movement and expressiveness garnered her worldwide critical aclaim. 
Shown in a performance pose in the stamp, José Limón frequently drew inspiration from history, literature, and religion, and used natural movement and gesture in his choreography. His virile, powerful works elevated the importance of the male dancer in modern dance. 
Founder of one of the first African-American dance companies in the United States, Katherine Dunham was the first choreographer to develop a formal dance technique that combined Caribbean and African dance elements with aspects of ballet. She is shown in a pose from her critically acclaimed ballet L'Ag'Ya. 
Bob Fosse, celebrated for directing and choreographing musicals on both stage and screen, is shown on the set of Sweet Charity (1969). Fosse received one Oscar, three Emmys, and nine Tony awards during his career. Yet perhaps his greatest contribution was in making dance accessible to millions. 

Designed to look like posters advertising a performance, the stamp art captures the luminosity and mystery of a live dance performance. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps using illustrations in watercolor on vintage paper by artist James McMullan.

Also worth mentioning is the special 'Just Dance' postmark used on this cover.

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