Allegra Kent, 2018, frame from reading for The Sentient Archive. Video by Dave Tavani.
Allegra Kent studied ballet under Bronislava Nijinska and Carmelita Maracci before joining the New York City Ballet at age 15, becoming one of the youngest dancers invited into the company. She remained with the New York City Ballet until she retired from dance in 1981, performing many roles that choreographer George Balanchine created specifically for her, including performances in Seven Deadly Sins, Ivesiana, and Bugaku. She also performed principal roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Episodes, and Dances at a Gathering, among many others. After her retirement, she became a ballet teacher and a writer, publishing an autobiography and a book for children. Kent contributed the essay “My Discovery of Dance” to Center publication The Sentient Archive: Bodies, Performance, and Memory, a collection of writings that illustrate how the body serves as a repository for knowledge.