A pioneer of modern dance, Doris Humphrey was born in Oak Park, Illinois. Humphrey began dancing at the age of 8 and began a career as a teacher of ballroom dance in Chicago in 1913. In 1917 she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked with the Denishawn Company. She remained with this company until 1927, dancing in the early "music visualizations" Sedon Arabesque (1917) and Sonata Pathetique (1922) and choreographing her own first work, Tragica, in 1920. In 1927 Humphrey left the Denishawn Company with her dance partner Charles Weidman and went to New York, where they formed their own company the following year. The company performed for 16 years until arthritis forced Humphrey to retire from dancing, at which time the company disbanded. During that time she also originated the Julliard Dance Theatre and ran the Summer School of Dance at Bennington College (1934--42). She also choreographed highly original works during this period, including The Shakers (1931), Theatre Piece (1935), and With My Red Fires (1936). These works helped build the foundation for the philosophy of modern dance. After her retirement, Humphrey continued to choreograph for a number of companies, including one founded by one of her most talented students, Jose Limon. One of the works she created for the Limon company, Day on Earth, is considered by many to be one of the quintessential works for modern dance. She also served as artistic director of the Limon company from 1946 until her death. Humphrey's book The Art of Making Dances (1959) is a rigorous work still used by those who work in modern and postmodern dance.