Throughout the ages of man and in all the fields of human endeavour, individuals stand out who elevate the condition of mankind. Some do it solely by discovery, the enlightenment of which improves human material conditions, freeing others to elevate the mind and spirit. Some do it by creations that directly or indirectly inspire the spirit and enoble the mind. Some do it by a single, brilliant reposte, brightly illuminating a whole area. Others do it by an envelope of day-by-day. Sometimes joyous, sometimes laborious, small and large creations attuned to the needs of the poeple. For all such geniuses, there is always the hallmark of universality within the constraining dimensions of space and the releasing flow of time.
Such a man was Arthur Hall, joining in his own way with the great liberators of the human spirit of our time, men like King and Ghandi, in bringing to people all over the globe new means of extension, deeper methods of self-recognition, self-expression and self-realization.
Arthur taught people directly and indirectly around the globe how to take that broad avenue of expression, the human body, and fuse it to their past, present and future. How to use the daily motions of life itself to recover their heritage from the past and project into their daily lives and their hopes and needs.
Arthur did this for all people, doting especially on children and youth, but the young and old alike through dance gained knowledge wither it was they came from and where they were going. Knowledge of how their ancestors bestowed upon them confidence, strength and love. Whether in Mozambique, Brazil, Camden, Mesa or North Philly, like Johnny Appleseed, he made a productive contribution to human culture. In particular, he inspired his brothers and sisters to treasure and value their roots, appreciate the true greatness of their past, not only for them, but for all of mankind.
Arthur sought the meaning of his life in his community with ordinary people, and thereby he gave meaning to theirs. His creative fusion of dance, drama and music brought joy to ordinary people, bring the aestetic of the elite to where humanity resides.
So today we join in celebrating the life of a great adopted son of Philadelphia, and dedicate ourselves to continuing Arthur Hall's life's work through the creation of a nationwide dance memorial in his name.
Robert J. Rutman