December 06, 1976 12:00 PM

Alexis Deveaux will have two plays presented this month on the Public Broadcasting System series Visions. Both plays, Circles and The Tapestry, deal with young black women coming to terms with themselves and with the pressures exerted on them by family, friends and society. “Autobiographical they aren’t at all,” she stresses. “The inspiration came from the life I’ve observed around me.” Born and raised in Harlem, the second of eight children, Alexis, 28, started writing poetry in the sixth grade, but did not decide to make writing a vocation until 1970. In 1973 she published Spirits in the Street, a prose poem of Harlem life which she also illustrated, and her first children’s book, Na-ni, about a family on welfare. Two years ago Alexis moved to New Haven, Conn., where she and a friend opened the Coeur de I’Unicorne Gallery. It features art, poetry readings and screenings. In October she earned her B.A. from the State University of New York (after dropping out of Cornell in 1969 in her junior year) and quit her job as a creative writing instructor for young adults. “I feel I have so much material in me that I can’t afford to take time away,” she says. “How I feed myself and pay the rent is not as important now as writing fulltime.”

Wayne Eagling, when he was dancing in the corps of Britain’s Royal Ballet, used to drift to the rear during practice until Dame Margot Fonteyn chided him, “You’ll never learn anything back there. Get up in the front row where they can see you making mistakes.” Seven years later Eagling, 26, has not only corrected his mistakes, he has become one of the Royal Ballet’s top four male principals. A London critic wrote recently of his performance in The Invitation, “He can outdance any of his predecessors.” The eldest of four children, Wayne was born in Montreal but his family moved to California when he was 6. (He is still a Canadian citizen.) At 13 he was dragged along to dancing classes with his sister, but it was he who became the dancer—after conquering his distaste for wearing tights. During an audition at the San Francisco Opera House, where the Royal Ballet was performing, he was invited to enroll in the company’s school in London. Small for his age while a teenager (he was only 5’2″ at 17), he recalls, “I sprouted two inches in three months. I so outgrew my strength that I could hardly walk, much less dance.” He’s now 5’10½”. Though he calculates a male dancer reaches his peak between the ages of 28 and 32, he says, “I’m such a late developer, I mightn’t reach mine until I’m 50.”

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