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One of the most remarkable sequences in Ken Russell's otherwise uneven sci-fi/fantasy Altered States (1981) is when, through a combination of mind-altering drugs and an isolation tank, normally staid scientist William Hurt devolves into a monstrous little Australiopithicene (an early human prototype) that bursts from the tank and goes rampaging through a dark city zoo. The realism of the creature's agile animal grace belied the fact that it was played by a real person, dancer Miguel Godreau. Godreau spent most of his career on Broadway and as the lead dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater from the mid-'60s through the early '70s, but he also occasionally danced in films, including Billie (1965) and Swashbuckler (1976). Much later in his career, Godreau became a noted dance teacher. Around 1994, he began performing with the Cirque de Soleil.

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