La Meri, 89, one of the country's leading ethnic dancers, who toured the world in the 1920s and 1930s performing and teaching the world's dances, particularly those of India and Spain. Born Russell Meriwether Hughes in Louisville, Ky., she founded, with Ruth St. Denis, the School of Natya in 1940 in New York and there offered dancers and lecturers ranging from Pearl S. Buck to Ted Shawn, St. Denis' longtime partner. Her book "Spanish Dancing" is considered one of the most authoritative works on that subject. In San Antonio, Tex., on Jan. 7.
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