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Bob Avian, ‘A Chorus Line’ Choreographer, Dies at 83

Bob Avian, the Tony Award-winning choreographer of “A Chorus Line,” died Thursday of a coronary heart assault. He was 83.

In a profession that spanned seven a long time, Avian appeared in, staged, produced, directed or designed the dances for dozens of Broadway hits — his resume reads like a historical past of musical theater within the twentieth and twenty first centuries.

Avian started his skilled profession as a dancer, showing in “West Aspect Story,” “Humorous Woman” and “Henry, Candy Henry.”

He then turned a detailed collaborator of Michael Bennett, serving to the director and choreographer on a lot of his largest hits, together with “Firm,” “Follies” and “Coco,” on which he labored as an affiliate choreographer and assistant director. In 1976 he obtained his first Tony Award as co-choreographer of “A Chorus Line” and received his second Tony Award for co-choreographing “Ballroom.”

Avian additionally labored with Bennett as a lead producer on the unique and nationwide corporations of “Dreamgirls,” one of the crucial profitable musicals of the Eighties, and on “A Chorus Line,” a fair larger smash. Bennett, who died from AIDS-related lymphoma in 1987 at the age of 44, was one of many driving forces in American theater, however he additionally had a status for being hard-charging and tough. In a 2020 interview with the Broadway Weblog, Avian defined their largely harmonious working relationship.

“We had been such good buddies that we had been by no means in competitors with one another creatively,” he stated. “He was open to no matter I instructed, particularly if we had been alone. If we had been in a manufacturing assembly, I’d by no means say something as a result of Michael was my boss. I at all times knew that, and he revered me for that.”

Amongst Avian’s different skilled accomplishments had been creating the musical staging for “Miss Saigon” and “Sundown Boulevard,” in addition to choreographing “Martin Guerre” in London, which received him an Olivier Award.

In 2020, he printed a memoir “Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey,” which was co-written with Tom Santopietro.

Avian is survived by his husband Peter Pileski, his sister Laura Nabedian, 5 nieces and nephews and an incredible nephew and nice niece.

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