News: Obituaries

Friday 30 November 2001

Gregory Hines
arguably the ‘greatest tap dancer of his generation’ died aged 57. The dancer and choreographer starred in The Cotton Club (1984), acted alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov in White Nights and with Billy Crystal in the 1986 comedy thriller Running Scared. Read an obituary in the Guardian, 11 Aug.03
and also Guardian, 12 Aug.03
Independent, 12 Aug.03
Times, 12 Aug.03

Janet Collins – the prima ballerina and choreographer was the first black artist to perform on the stage of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in the 1951 production of Aida. She died recently. Read obituaries in the Guardian, 11 June 03 and the
Times, 9 June 03

Bertram Ross
“was one of America’s finest contemporary dancers and for over 20 years Martha Graham’s principal male dancer, partner and loyal custodian both of her work and of her person.”
Mary Clarke, Guardian, 3 May.03

Vera Zorina
ballerina and actress who appeared in productions on stage and screen. She starred in the original production of On Your Toes (1936) Died at the beginning of this month.
Guardian, 5 May.03
Times, 17 Apr.03
Independent, 14 Apr.03

Mari Bicknell
Director of Cambridge Ballet Workshop, a company in which “the performers were children and teenagers but the productions were professional”. Mari Bicknell died in March this year.
Helen Chadwick, Independent, 3 Apr.03

Cholly Atkins
Choreographer and tap dancer who worked with musicians including Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, New Kids On The Block and many more.
Terry Monaghan, Guardian, 29 Apr.03

Alexander Bennett
died in February of this year. He was a dancer with Ballet Rambert, then Sadler’s Wells Theatre Ballet. After retiring from performance he took up various ballet-master posts and directed ballet ensembles.
Nadine Meisner, Independent, 27 March.03
Times, 27 March.03

Niels Bjorn Larsen
“Niels Bjorn Larsen, who has died aged 89, was a dancer, teacher, ballet master, choreographer and artistic director, and one of the greatest mimes of all time, during a life devoted to the Royal Danish Ballet.”
Mary Clarke, Guardian, 18 March.03

John Lanchbery
“A conductor and arranger, John Lanchbery was a pivotal figure in ballet. As arranger he collaborated with choreographers such as Frederick Ashton to compile the scores of many of the most popular ballets of the last half of the 20th century.”
Born 15 Mary 1923, Died 27 Feb 2003.
Nadine Meisner, Independent, 3 March.03
Noel Goodwin, Guardian, 28 Feb.03
Times, 28 Feb.03

Natalia Dudinskaya
“Natalia Dudinskaya was one of the greatest ballerinas that Soviet Russia ever produced … and through her extensive teaching and coaching she helped to mould a new generation of dancers — Natalia Makarova among them”
Died in St Petersburg, 29 Jan.03, aged 90.
Times, 30 Jan.03
Guardian, 1 Feb.03
Independent, 30 Jan 03

Lady Menuhin
ballet dancer with the Rambert ballet, Markova-Dolin Ballet and Arts Theatre Ballet. She gave up her career as a ballerina for her husband Yehudi Menuhin. Born 1912, she died on 25 Jan 2003.
Guardian, 7 Feb.03
Times, 28 Jan.03

Mia Slavenska – teacher, choreographer and ballet director, has died aged 88. She was a star of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
Read an obituary by Mary Clarke
Guardian, 12 Dec. 02

Tita Merello
‘Argentina’s darling of tango’ died recently. Read an obituary in the
Independent, 3 Jan. 03

Maria Bjørnson
who died recently, was regarded by her peers as Britain’s most inspired set and costume designer for theatre, opera, and ballet. Read an obituary:
Independent, 20 Dec. 02

Irving Davies
one of England’s foremost dancer-choreographers, who created for stage, television and film, died Oct 2003. His work and life is remembered,
Independent, 17 Oct.02
Wendy Toye, Guardian, 18 Oct.02
Times 22 Oct 2002

Mia Slavenska
a leading ballerina of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo for many years, died at the beginning of this month. Times, 23 Oct.02

“She was a very beautiful ballerina, and she was fearless, on stage and in life.”

Marilyn Hunt, Independent 15 Oct.02

Stephanie Reinhart
was an activist in the cause of contemporary dance worldwide. With her husband, Charles, she was co-director of the American Dance Festival and since 1996 Artistic Director for Dance at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC. Read an obituary in
Independent, 4 Oct. 02

Alfred ‘Pepsi’ Bethel
jazz dancer, teacher and choreographer from North Carolina, USA died August this year. Terry Monaghan looks back at Bethal’s dancing career.
Guardian, 28 Sep.02

Dirk Sanders
Dancer, choreographer, actor and film-maker.
Independent, 5 Sep. 02
Times, 16 Aug.02

Walter Laird
… codified the international style of Latin American dance which now predominates. He died recently at the age of 81.
“Two major changes swept through British ballroom dancing in the 20th century. The first was the codification of modern dances, like the waltz and foxtrot, to curb the impact of American ragtime styles. The second was the response, by the world champion Walter Laird, who has died aged 81, to the influx, before and after the second world war, of Latin dances and the jitterbug.”
read an obituary

George Mitchell
creator of ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show’ died recently. Read an obituary
Independent, 30 Aug. 02

Irène Lidova
Ballet critic and promoter has died in Paris at the age of 95.

“the Russian-French critic, writer on dance, and friend and benefactor of innumerable dancers and choreographers…”
Mary Clarke, Guardian, 4 July.02

“Irène Lidova helped the careers of many dancers and choreographers. She was a mentor and confidante to the legendary, the up-and-coming, the complete unknowns.”

Nadine Meisner, Independent, 3 July 02

Dolores Gray
A Broadway and Hollywood star whose greatest success was on the London stage in Annie Get Your Gun died New York, 26 June 2002.
Tom Vallance, Independent, 02 July.02

Buster Brown

“who has died in New York aged 89, was one of the last great black tap-dancers of the 1930s; his long career took him from extremely humble origins to a Professorship of Dance at Harvard University.”

Telegraph, 11 May 02

George Sidney

“the film director who has died aged 85, was best known for the lavish musicals he made for MGM in the 1940s and 1950s”

Telegraph, 8 May.02

Benjamin Harkarvy

“…head of the dance division of the Juilliard School of Music in New York since 1992, was above all a dedicated ballet teacher, with an approach that was American in its eclecticism”

Independent, 8 APr. 02

Yat Malmgren
“The co-founder of a revolutionary theatre school, he brought a new awareness of movement to British theatre”. Yat Malmgren, who has died at the age of 86.
Christopher Fettes, Guardian, 13 June.02

William Christensen
The pre-eminent organiser and ballet master, who founded the important American companies San Francisco Ballet and Ballet West has died…
Independent, 26 Dec.01

Richard Sherrington
The ballet-loving solicitor who saved the Fonteyn collection died in a car accident on 30 October, aged 56.
Times Nov. 01

Charles W Stewart
Few leading book illustrators can once have danced in the corps de ballet at Covent Garden, but Charles W. Stewart was proud to have done so.Charles William Stewart, artist, collector and teacher was born in Iloilo, Philippines on the 8 November 1915. He died in Oxford on 3 October 2001.
David Buckman, Independent, Oct. 01

Constant Lambert
He died at just 45, but Constant Lambert more than made his mark as a composer, conductor and critic, as well as a great wit. But perhaps his greatest legacy was his work with the Royal Ballet in its early years.By John Percival
Independent, 21 Aug. 01

Richard Buckle
the ballet critic, author and exhibition organiser who has died aged 85, specialised in being outrageous – and succeeded so well that his considerable talents were often undervalued.
Daily Telegraph. 19 Oct. 01

William Christensen
Dancer, choreographer, & one time director of the San Francisco Opera Ballet aged 99. He introduced American audiences to Swan Lake and The Nutcracker… Obituary in
The Times, 1 Nov. 01

Barbara Matera
the British costumier who was based in New York, died recently. She designed costumes for Fonteyn, worked with New York City Ballet, Rambert and the Opera House and also worked in film. Her range was wide; recent clients included Mick Jagger and Hilary Clinton.
Times, 29 Sept. 01

Gerd Larsen
the Norwegian born dancer, character artist and teacher with the Royal Ballet for over 50 years, died in London recently. She was 81.
Read her obituary in The Times.
6 Oct, The Guardian 20 Oct.
Telegraph, 6 Oct. 01

Terry Gilbert
the dancer and choreographer whos background paralleled that of Billy Elliot, dies aged 68.
Telegraph, 10 Sept. 01

Viktor Fedotov
The star conductor of the Kirov Ballet died in Moscow aged 68.
Independent, 11 Dec.01

Alfred Rodrigues
The career of the South African dancer and choreographer , who has died aged 81, started in postwar London after his arrival on a troopship…
Mary Clarke, Guardian, 19 Feb. 02

What’s On