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One of seven children, Ann Reinking (1949-2020) grew up in Seattle, Washington. She was in the sixth grade when she first saw a classmate dance. She started ballet lessons and persuaded her parents to install a barre in her room so that she could practice at home.
The work paid off. As a teenager, she won a Ford Foundation scholarship to study at the San Francisco Ballet School as well as scholarships to study with Robert Joffrey for two consecutive summers. Upon completing high school, she moved to New York where her first job was with the corps de ballet at Radio City Music Hall.
Reinking went on to Broadway, films and television, earning numerous accolades for her work including Tony nominations for her leading performances in Dancin’ and as best actress in Goodtime Charley with Joel Grey. Her astonishing number of awards includes the Theatre World Award for the work as Maggie in Over Here and the Clarence Derwent Award. In 1997, Reinking won the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Astaire Award for her choreography for the ENCORE production of Chicago, followed by a Tony Award to Fosse, which won for best musical.
Her film debut was as Troubles Moran in Movie, Movie directed by Stanley Donen. She then starred in All That Jazz directed by Bob Fosse, Annie directed by John Huston and in Blake Edwards’ Micki and Maude. Clearly, great directors like working with great talent.
Reinking divided her time between family in New York and Tampa where she is Artistic Director of the Broadway Theatre Project, a program that brings together working professionals with gifted young people. “Musical theatre is an American art form which must be kept alive,” said Reinking.
Credits included TV commercials; original ballets: Ritmo y Ruido for Ballet Hispanico, Legends for the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and Suite Kander for Missouri State Ballet. Choreography credits include Bye Bye Birdie with Jason Alexander-ABC-TV; national tour of the revival of Applause; The Visit – Goodman Theatre; Chicago; directed, co-choreographed Fosse; directed, choreographed Tonight at 8:30 – Williamstown Theatre Festival.