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Subject: Amy Rosen, Choreographer of Narrative Modern Dances

She was 47
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Date Posted: March 02, 2003 10:30:57 EDT

Amy Sue Rosen, a modern dance choreographer known for her collaborations with the painter Derek Bernstein, died on Feb. 19 at her home in Manhattan.
The cause was cancer, according to Mr. Bernstein, her husband.

Ms. Rosen, who was born in Baltimore, trained with Bill Evans and at Arizona State University and the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York.

She began to work with Mr. Bernstein in 1983, shortly after coming to New York. Early on, their collaborations were consistently nonliteral, but with a compelling simplicity. Most have implied narratives, with mysterious characters undergoing mysterious experiences that are often melancholy or darkly funny, but too plain-spoken to be surreal.

Her dances were often based on autobiographical events. Her creative philosophy was "go there and see where you go," Mr. Bernstein said recently. "She never tried to explain anything."

In her 1991 "Boulder," men and women in gray raced, crawled and lingered on a jetty of dark rocks and were confronted by a pregnant woman in a red gown. Two years ago, Ms. Rosen and Mr. Bernstein began to create pieces that addressed her illness, culminating in "Break/Broke," which has its last performance today at the Dance Theater Workshop.

Her work has also been performed at the Danspace Project, the Kitchen and other dance theaters in Manhattan, and at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C., where she was named the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Humphrey-Weidman-Limón fellow in 1994.

In addition to her husband, Ms. Rosen is survived by three children, Sylve, Gustin and Vera, all of Manhattan; her mother, Claire Gelb of Tucson; and two sisters, Lisa, of Eugene, Ore., and Judy, of Estes Park, Colo.

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