Header Graphic
Representing Talent Worldwide

Nov 7, 2009

Sadly we have lost another Great ...

Marion Coles began her professional career as a member of the inimitable ballroom team, Taylor and Edwards. In the early thirties, she freelanced as a chorus line dancer before touring with Silas Green from New Orleans, a comedy and musical show that traveled throughout the South. During the mid-thirties, Ms. Coles was asked to join Ristina Bank chorus line, one of the most famous chorus lines in the black theater circuit. The group's popularity led to a position as the Number 1 stock chorus line at the Apollo Theater. During the thirties and forties, she appeared with numerous bands, including those of Jimmy Lunceford, Duke Ellington,Cab Calloway and Count Basie.

From 1980 to 1986, Ms. Coles was a member of Jane Goldberg's Changing Times Tap Company, which received rave reviews in the United States and Europe. Since 1986, she has performed with and served as Artistic Director of the Silver Belles, a group of former chorus line dancers who worked at the Apollo Theater and Cotton Club when Harlem was the mainstay of New York night life.

Ms. Coles has been a featured artist in Jazz Talk at Lincoln Center; Shades of Harlem at the Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture; Hank Smith's The Story of Tap at Dixon Place, Vaudeville 2000 at La Mama and educational presentations at Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies, the Musem of Natural History, Barnard College and Columbia University's Jazz Study Group. She and the Silver Belles were featured in 1999 at the St. Louis Tap Festival.

She has taught master classes and workshops at New York University, Queens College, Kingsboro Community College, the Dance Theater of Harlem, and Tulane University’s Jazz Dance Project 2000, where she was also a featured speaker. In May 1995, her choreography was showcased in the Queens College Spring Dance Concert. Ms. Coles has received awards from the New York Committee to Celebrate National Tap Dance Day (1992), International Women in Jazz, Inc. (1994), and the Oklahoma City University School of American Dance (2001). In 2002, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queens College, City University of New York. Marion Coles is a featured dancer in the 2006 documentary Been Rich All My Life.