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Tony-Winning Choreographer LeTang Dies at 91

Tony Award-winning choreographer Dr. Henry LeTang, who choreographed the movies Tap, Bojangles, and The Cotton Club, died last week in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 91.

A memorial service was held Monday at the Holy Trinity AME Church in Las Vegas. Following Dr. LeTang's wishes, the service included music and dance and the memories of those who knew and studied under the legendary tap dancer and choreographer. His protégés Shea Sullivan (NYC Choreographer) and Christopher Racine (Las Vegas performer) performed one of his routines to Stompin' at the Savoy as a tribute.

Press notes state, Dr. LeTang's "Broadway credits include the smash hits Sophisticated Ladies and Eubie, which both garnered him a Tony Award nomination as well as a Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama Critics Award. Henry won a Tony Award in 1989 for the Broadway musical Black and Blue. Other Broadway credits include The Wiz (choreographed the Tin Man "Slide Some Oil on Me), Shuffle Along, Crazy With the Heat, My Dear Public and Dream With Music. Some of Mr. LeTang's students and proteges include: Gregory Hines, Debbie Allen, Maurice Hines, Savion Glover, Shea Sullivan, Bette Midler, Milton Berle, Lee Marvin, Harry Belefonte, Joey Heatherton, Chita Rivera, Lola Falana, George Kirby, Nancy Wilson, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Billie Holiday. His fine work was represented on Broadway by his students and stars of Bubbling Brown Sugar, Guys and Dolls, My One and Only, and Tap Dance Kid."

He became Dr. LeTang due to the efforts of Jo Rowan, and the Oklahoma City University School of American Dance and Arts Management, presented him with an honorary doctorate in February 2003. Press releases also state that iconic dancer Bill "Bojangels" Robinson once said of Dr. LeTang, "That young man's staging is really copacetic."

LeTang and his wife, Ellie, who died in 2002, opened a danced studio in Las Vegas after moving there in 1992. He is survived by two sons, Henry LeTang Jr. and Jon LeTang.

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