Partner Margaret Walker, Henriëtte van Lennep
Parkstraat 73A, 2514 JG Den Haag, Netherlands
Alice Sally Mary "Lili" Green (February 26, 1885, Bromley, England - January 22, 1977, The Hague), also known as Vallya Lodowska, was a dancer and dance teacher.
Daughter of Alexander Edward Green (1853 -1905), plantation container, and Henriette Magdalena Spiering (1859-1959) . Lili Green had relationships with Margaret Walker (1886-1972), dancer and opera singer, and Henriëtte van Lennep (1894-1972), composer .
Alice (Lili) Green was born in the English district of Beckenham (Bromley, London), the eldest child of a Scottish father and a Dutch mother. When she was a few months old, she moved with her parents to Suriname, where she spent her childhood on the prosperous cocoa plantation Belwaarden, northeast of Paramaribo. The children of the family - Lili had two brothers and two sisters - were raised by a governess, who also gave the planter's daughter her first piano lessons. In 1899 the family moved to the Netherlands, but Lili's father soon returned to Suriname, where he died in 1905. The talented Lili studied piano at the conservatory in The Hague, but after a performance by the American dancer Isadora Duncan, in 1905, she decided to become a dancer. She made choreographies herself, such as the Bloemensproke (1907), performed by a group of ladies and children from The Hague. Because the Netherlands had no dance education yet, she went dancing with the theater company of Eduard Verkade; she made her debut in 1908 as Ophelia.
In 1910 Lili Green left for London to take classes in eurhythmy and classical ballet with, among others, Michael Mordkin. With her dance partner Henryk van Dorp de Weyer ('Andreas Pavley') she made a number of successful tours through the Netherlands and England in the following years under the stage name Vallya Lodowska. As 'famous Russian dancers' they performed 'free' modern dances barefoot and in costumes of transparent material, inspired by nature and the music of, among others, Debussy, Chopin and Ravel. The duo received excellent reviews for this. This is how Het Nieuws van den Dag wrote: 'Lili Green dances with passion, emotion and a wonderful grace'.
In London, Lili Green met the English dancer and opera singer Margaret Walker, with whom she got into a relationship. The free-spirited Green openly advocated her homosexuality and even wrote a one-act play about lesbianism : A conflict (1910). At the outbreak of the First World War, Lili Green settled with Margaret Walker in The Hague, where they opened the Dance Institute Lili Green and Margaret Walker on Parkstraat 73A, with the intention of bringing dance in the Netherlands to a higher level. Miss Lili, loved by her students had a special interest in the interfaces of different dance styles and developed her own dance style, which she called 'emotional plastic'. To increase revenues, Green and Walker organized well-attended 'dance teas' on weekends, where wealthy ladies could learn the art of ballroom dancing.
During this period, Green was mainly concerned with training young dancers, but also took part in the performances that her students gave - for example in 1924, when the 62nd anniversary of the university was celebrated in Groningen with an open-air play. The dance group of Green and Walker was part of the National Opera, for which she provided the ballets. In 1925, Green and Walker separated; Walker married and started her own dance studio with her husband.
Despite her successes, Green regularly had financial problems, partly because subsidy applications for her dance group were rejected by the municipality of The Hague. When her contract with the opera was not renewed in 1929, she left for the Czechoslovakian Troppau (Opava), where she was asked to take charge of the opera ballet. During this period, she had a relationship with composer Henriëtte van Lennep, who accompanied her to Troppau. In her new home town, Green also organized dance evenings and the opera ballet made several tours under her leadership, including to Vienna and Paris.
Green returned to the Netherlands in 1930. She went to live in Amsterdam and was appointed to the Wagner Association. In 1933 she played the title role in the play Salomé , performed in the dunes near Zandvoort. In addition, Green started a new dance school in Nieuwe Spiegelstraat: the School of Movement Art. Her wealthy friend Henriëtte van Lennep supported her financially and regularly gave ballet lessons on the piano. Green formed the Dutch Ballet in 1935 with her students. A year later she participated with a solo in the Olympic Games in Berlin in the dance art section; a participation she would regret later, although she won a bronze medal.
Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, Green started teaching in a hidden church in the Juffrouw Idastraat in The Hague. During the war, her Jewish student Ila Goldstein and her mother went into hiding at Green's home. Green was arrested for treason and ended up in the Scheveningen prison Orangehotel, but Van Lennep managed to get her free. She was active in the Dansliga, but when it became a subsection of the Kultuurkamer as a Dance Guild in 1942, Green withdrew. The dance school was getting worse and at the end of the occupation years, Green had no income anymore. In 1948, she and her mother left for the United States, where three of her siblings lived. She started another dance school in Washington: Dance Studio Lili Green. In addition, she became director of the Continental School of Movement. When her elderly mother died in 1959, she returned to The Hague. She opened a dance school in the Van Beverenstraat and started teaching again. In her new studio, members of the new Nederlands Dans Theater, who had separated from Sonia Gaskell 's Dutch Ballet, trained .
Lili Green worked in her studio in The Hague until 1966. The 'grand old lady of Dutch dance' died on January 22, 1977 after a long illness, aged 91.
Lili Green can be considered as one of the most important pioneers of theater dance. In the 1920s she was 'one of the greatest in the field of dance' (Cinema and Theater , 1920), and grew into a well-known figure in the cultural environment - the poet Martinus Nijhoff wrote a sonnet about Lili Green in 1924. Later, with the dance courses she set up, she made a major contribution to the development of modern dance in the Netherlands. In 1965, Green received a 'special tribute' from the Minister of Culture, Recreation and Social Work for her great achievements for Dutch cultural life.
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