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Choo-san Goh, 39; Award-Winning Ballet Choreographer and Dancer

December 01, 1987|United Press International

NEW YORK — Award-winning choreographer Choo-san Goh, whose ballets have been performed around the world, has died of an AIDS-related illness. He was 39.

Goh died Saturday night at his Manhattan home of viral colitis, a disease that frequently afflicts victims of acquired immune deficiency syndrome. He was diagnosed as having AIDS last December.

Earlier this year, Goh was awarded the 1987 Cultural Medallion of Singapore, the most prestigious arts award given in the island nation where he was born.

Goh's most recent work, "Configurations," was a collaboration with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the American Ballet Theatre. The choreographer recently co-founded the Choo-san Goh & Robert Magee Foundation, endowing it with $500,000 to support dance companies and individuals to create works of ballet.

On the morning of Goh's death, the choreographer received commissions for two dances with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada and one with Ballet West in Salt Lake City.

Goh, an ethnic Chinese who first danced with the Singapore Ballet Academy at the age of 10, joined the Dutch National Ballet in 1970 as a dancer and choreographed his first two ballets there.

In 1976, Goh was invited to come to Washington to become resident choreographer at the Washington Ballet; he was named the company's associate artistic director in 1984 and held the position until his death. He also served as guest teacher with the Berlin Ballet, the Boston School of Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet and many other companies and schools.

He is survived by his mother, five brothers and three sisters.

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