I-House Remembers Chuck Golden, ALLNATIONS Artistic Director
The International House community was saddened to learn of the passing of Charles “Chuck” Golden, longtime artistic director of the ALLNATIONS Dance Company at I-House. Golden died in Lyndhurst, NJ on February 16, 2022, at age 86.
For more than 30 years, the dance company, founded by the late Herman “HR” Rottenberg, entertained audiences in more than 55 countries on six continents with its show “Joy In Every Land,” while carrying the banner and message of International House around the world.
The company had its origins in the mid-1960s when Rottenberg, then Cultural Affairs Director at I-House, brought together a group of dancers living at I-House to perform for residents, and requests for outside performances soon arrived. By 1969, Rottenberg was hiring professional dancers of all nationalities to represent the I-House spirit of friendship and cross-cultural understanding.
Golden joined as Artistic Director in 1971, overseeing the group’s routines, both on the road, and at I-House events such as Fall Fiesta and the All Nations Celebration. Working out of an office on the “C” Level, and later from the dance studio in I-House North from 1991, Golden became a familiar figure to generations of I-House residents.
The dance company maintained a full schedule of performances from September to June, presenting educational programs for schools and universities as well as full evening performances.
“These incredible artists all had one thing in common,” noted Rottenberg in later years. “They all found a family within ALLNATIONS that provided them with a lifetime of friendships and incredible memories, and even some marriages.”
These included Sophia Janusz, who later assisted Rottenberg and Golden in managing the company as Associate Artistic Director, and who met and married I-House resident Roy Pachecano ’93. Golden himself married dancer Deborah Bianculli in 1981.
In 2001, Golden’s retirement precipitated the demise of ALLNATIONS, which gave its final performance in Davis Hall on May 24 of that year, following a three-week tour of China. The company received many tributes, including one from then-President Donald L. Cuneo ’69.
“For more than 30 years, ALLNATIONS, ‘HR,’ and Chuck have been an integral part of the I-House community,” said Cuneo. “This association has meant a great deal to me personally since my own days as a resident. The company’s work, and the sheer joy they brought to so many, will be greatly missed.”
Deborah Bianculli provided the following tribute to her late husband:
Charles (Chuck) J. Golden, 11/11/35-2/16/22
Everyone called him Chuck. His blue eyes always had a twinkle in them. He was friendly, funny, patient and kind. He was a fixture at International House as the artistic director of the ALLNATIONS Dance Company from 1971 until his retirement in 2001.
Chuck came to the job well skilled in all aspects of theatre. While stationed in Japan in the army, he was an entertainment specialist, acting in and directing shows for the troops. After an honorable discharge he returned to his hometown of Chicago and attended the Goodman Theatre School of Drama. Upon graduation, he performed in the Goodman Theatre and many others. Chuck traveled to Minnesota and actually built his own theatre, running his own company, and acted, directed, and staged productions with the Pacific Repertory Company, traveling throughout the United States.
In New York, Chuck worked with the innovative Café Cino Theatre in Greenwich Village, then taught stagecraft at Juilliard before coming into Herman Rottenberg’s radar. “HR” hired Chuck to work with one tour of ALLNATIONS, after which Chuck took off and traveled solo throughout Western Europe, Egypt and the Sudan before returning home and taking up the mantle of directorship again.
After retirement Chuck took up music and painting and many more travels with his wife and partner Deborah for as long as his health permitted.
Before every tour, HR and Chuck would say “We’re off on another great adventure!” Before every show Chuck would say, “Have Fun!”
Well, Chuck, you are off on another great adventure. Have fun!
(Header Photo: Chuck Golden at right, with ALLNATIONS group on tour in Puerto Rico / I-House Archives)