Eugene van Grona

Eugene Von Grona, (January 23, 1908 – March 29, 2000) was a German professional dancer and choreographer. He was born in Berlin. As a child he visited the United States quite frequently, where he became enamored with the cakewalk and minstrel shows. By the 1920s he finally made his move to the United States with his wife Leni Bouvier. Both dancers, they were fascinated by the new artistic innovations of the Harlem Renaissance. He enjoyed the sounds of Duke Ellington and other ragtime favorites. Von Grona began dancing and directing ballets at the Roxy Theatre in 1935.

Quickly he was confronted with racial boundaries, as many American theaters were segregated by law or custom. Performing opportunities were extremely limited to black dancers, and many ballet studios would not accept black students. He decided that the dancers at Roxy were too light and stated, "I want them black, black, all Negro."

Birth and Death Data: Born January 23rd, 1908, Died March 29th, 2000

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1931

Roles Represented in DAHR: performer


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor CRC-53060 12-in. 4/24/1931 Sound effect record : Spirit of labor Eugene van Grona Sound effects, with traps sextet performer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Grona, Eugene van," accessed August 2, 2021,

Grona, Eugene van. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 2, 2021, from

"Grona, Eugene van." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 2 August 2021.

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