Remy Charlip, internationally beloved as "the court jester of post-modernism" and known for innovative dances, children's literature, and theater pieces based on his books, died in August 2012 in San Francisco at age 83. Born in Brooklyn to Russian immigrants, Charlip attended Cooper Union, but soon stopped painting and began taking dance classes. At Black Mountain College in 1953, he became an original member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and its first costume designer. He appeared with the company during its first two Pillow engagements in 1955 and 1956. While the company struggled in those early years, Charlip kept himself afloat by designing book jackets. His dance and designing careers converged improbably in 1960, when he designed the cover for Ted Shawn's autobiographical 1001 Night Stands
. He was a founder of the Paper Bag Players (whose 1960 Pillow presentation he directed) and worked with the National Theater of the Deaf. His 1984 solo work for Lucas Hoving, Growing Up in Public
, was performed by Hoving at the Pillow in 1991. In a characteristically original move, Charlip began creating Air Mail Dances
in 1971 when, having forgotten to choreograph a promised dance for an out-of-town friend, he sent her a series of postcards on which he'd drawn pictures of the body in various positions. He told her she could dance the drawings in any order she chose.
Suite for Five