David Nillo, Broadway Dancer and Choreographer, Is Dead at 89

Obituaries   David Nillo, Broadway Dancer and Choreographer, Is Dead at 89
David Nillo, who danced in and then choreographed several Broadway musicals over a 30-year period beginning in 1946, died Sept. 28 in Los Angeles, the New York Times reported. He was 89 and lived in Hollywood.

After an early career in ballet, he made his Broadway debut in Call Me Mister, a 1946 Harold Rome revue that also starred Betty Garrett and George Irving. It ran nearly two years at three different theatres. He next performed in the short-lived musical Great to Be Alive!, and then the slightly longer-lived Cole Porter work, Out of This World, which was staged by Agnes DeMille.

After the failed 1953 show Maggie, he landed in the original production of My Fair Lady, graduating to the backstage role of assistant to choreographer Hanya Holm. He was back as a dancer in the famous flop Elaine Stritch vehicle, Goldilocks.

It wasn't until 1973 that Mr. Nillo received his first full choreography credit on Broadway. The show was a revival of The Desert Song. It ran only 15 performances.

He regional work included roles at St. Louis' MUNY in Brigadoon (1955) and Rip Van Winkle (1953).

David Nillo born in Goldsboro, N.C. According to the Times, he studied in Chicago with ballet teacher Bentley Stone, and Kurt Graff, a German modern. He stayed in the Windy City to dance with the Page-Stone Ballet, run by Stone and Ruth Page, the Graff Ballet and the Federal Theater Dance Project. He then moved to New York in 1939, he studied ballet with Anton Dolin, Antony Tudor and Edward Caton and modern dance with Hanya Holm. He joined Ballet Theater for its first season in 1940. He served in World War II as a radio operator for the United States Maritime Service, from 1943 to 1945.

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