Robert Pagent, dancer and choreographer who appeared in the original productions of “Oklahoma!” and “Carousel,” died Sept. 4 in Greenwich, Conn. He was 87.
Born Robert Weisser in Pittsburgh, Pagent began his career in European classical ballet troupes in the 1930s. In 1942 he adopted the stage name Robert Pagent and was the square-dance caller in the premier of Agnes de Mille’s now-classic cowboy-themed ballet, “Rodeo,” with music by Aaron Copland. It was the start of a long friendship and collaboration with de Mille and choreographer Jerome Robbins.
The following year he replaced an injured dancer in the original cast of “Oklahoma!” a night after its opening. Two years later he appeared in the premiere of “Carousel.”
Pagent was a choreographer for television in the 1950s and ’60s, including the Miss America Pageant. He also staged Rudolf Nureyev’s first U.S. television appearance.