ALEXANDER J. DUBÉ
Obituary


Alexander DubeAlexander J. Dubé, dancer advocate and artist manager, died from pancreatic cancer on Thursday, May 19, 2016, at the age of 67.

Born on September 11, 1948, Dubé was raised in Massachusetts, where as a hyperactive child he embraced the athleticism of tap dancing before moving on to study modern techniques and then classical ballet at the famed Robert Joffrey School of Ballet and the Uta Hagen/Herbert Berghoff Acting Academy.

Early on as a performer with small dance troupes, as a model, and even as a non-equity actor in WEST SIDE STORY performing "Bernardo," he realized the need to find a ‘real job.’ His business talents were recognized at Tiffany & Co. by Chairman Walter Hoving who invited him to join the executive training program. Four years later he met the legendary impresario Sol Hurok and joined Hurok Presents as a manager for dancers, where his first touring assignment was the USA tour of the famed Bolshoi Academy.  Accepting this challenge also meant learning Russian at his own expense, as well as accepting a salary that paid half of what Tiffany did…the greatest and most profound decision of his life.

In 1976 with the demise of the Hurok office, Alex, along with his colleague Isabelle D. Zakin, established the first-ever dance management agency concentrating on the needs of superstars performing around the world.  Dame Margot Fontaine was the first to say yes, followed by Stuttgart's Marcia Haydee & Richard Cragun; ABT's Cynthia Gregory, Gelsey Kirkland, Marianna Tcherkassky; Bolshoi's Natalia Bessmertnova and Mikhail Lavrovsky; National Ballet of Canada's Frank Augustyn; New York City Ballet's Patricia McBride, Jean-Pierre Bonnefous, Kay Mazzo and Peter Schaufuss; and the roster quickly grew. Dubé Zakin Management, Inc. quickly became the agency which supplied the world's dance superstars for major international opera houses and dance companies around the world. 

In 1985, the American Guild of Musical Artists (AFL-CIO), the dancers’ labor union, recognized the growing need to hire a dance specialist to handle their dance collective bargaining agreements, serving the needs of the ever-growing membership. Dubé sold his Dubé Zakin stock and accepted the newly created position of Administrator for Dance. Under his leadership more dance companies organized, terms and conditions improved, and vital concerns such as 'exit/transition' pay and a provision for child care were introduced and embraced by all employers. During this time, Dubé also served on the Board of Directors of Career Transition For Dancers, the first of its kind organization in the USA addressing the specific needs of dancers facing the early aging-out of their careers and receiving vital career counseling and financial scholarships.

In 2001, Caroline Newhouse [wife of Alexander Dubé’s late mentor and friend Theodore Newhouse of the Newhouse Media empire] established The Caroline & Theodore Newhouse Center for Dancers at Career Transition For Dancers. With the endorsement of Mrs. Newhouse and the CTFD Board, Dubé came out of his very brief retirement to be appointed Executive Director in 2001 and then the organization’s President. During his tenure, programs and services were expanded, scholarships were increased largely due to the Sono and Victor Elmaleh Foundation gifts, and annual Galas netted record-setting $1 million-plus revenues.  During CTFD's 30th Anniversary Pearl Jubilee in 2015, Dubé assisted with integrating of CTFD into The Actors Fund.  With the very successful program integration completed, Dubé continued to serve as an advisor.

In Alex Dubé’s own words, "To my great surprise and delight, over the course of my career, I've never needed a resume, having always had the good fortune of being the recipient of wonderful opportunities:  for me, life has been a complete circle from tap-dancer to president of a major organization, always serving dancers and dance.  More importantly, each and every work opportunity was never considered a "job"… all were great passions and I was the luckiest guy in the dance world!"

Alexander J. Dubé is survived by his sister, Maryanne Dubé.