Obituaries in the News
The Associated Press
Aug. 14, 2000
NEW YORK (AP) _ Harold Pierson, a dancer, actor, choreographer and teacher, died Aug. 1 of a heart attack. He was 66.
Pierson was the former artistic director of the Philadelphia Dance Company, also known as Philadanco. He also was a choreographer and teacher for the troupe.
He helped to write and then directed the video script of ``On the Shoulders of Our Ancestors,'' a multimedia work by Philadanco, which was presented in June at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan.
Pierson trained in dance with Robert Joffrey and Valentina Pereyaslavec. He studied acting with Louis Gossett Jr. and Sanford Meisner.
He performed with the dance companies of Alvin Ailey, Syvilla Fort, Geoffrey Holder, Louis Johnson and others. He danced in the premiere of Donald McKayle's classic ``Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder'' in 1959.
On Broadway and on tour, he performed in the casts of musicals such as ``Golden Boy,'' ``Sweet Charity,'' ``Cry, the Beloved Country'' and ``Purlie.''
Pierson was the artistic director of the Black Dance America Festival presented by the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1983.