Celene Keller was born Celene Radding in Portland, Oregon, and opened her own dance school there while still a teenager. She danced in the companies of Adolph Bolm and Bronislava Nijinska at the Hollywood Bowl and performed in a number of films. She taught for many years at both Adelphi University and the New Dance Group, and was also on the faculty of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School under Antony Tudor. She served on the Pillow faculty from 1966 to 1969, and performed here in two comic works by Myra Kinch in 1966, including The Air-Drawn Dagger
. In 1968, she choreographed Court Caprice
for the Jacob’s Pillow Dancers. She concentrated on acting in her later years, producing a one-woman show called Celene’s Odyssey
and taking small parts in commercials and films as recently as 2010. After she was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, she contacted the Pillow in order to set up a scholarship after her death. She also donated scrapbooks, costumes, and other memorabilia to the Pillow Archives. She died in New York City in June 2012 at 96.