By Boston Globe Staff,Updated August 23, 2023
The number of work commitments that filled each week for Gus Solomons Jr. in early 1964, when he was 25, would have exhausted many in the dance world he prominently inhabited with his powerful, 6-foot-3 frame.
Teacher, student, dancer, and choreographer, he was based in New York City and commuted to Boston to spend each Tuesday teaching. Performances with numerous dance groups in both cities packed his calendar, even before he made history as the first Black member of the legendary Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Recordings posted online include a 1968 GBH video of Mr. Solomons performing in Boston, and a 2017 New York Times video of him as an older dancer, finding ways to express creativity with an aging body.
Dance should fulfill “a part of you that wants to be acknowledged, that part that has been oppressed or been frustrated by the speed of things or by the noise or by the crowds or by what have you,” he said in the GBH video. “Not to escape from them, but to simply … find a way of coping with them.”