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Allan, Maud [real name Ulla Maude Durrant] (1873–1956), dancer, was born in Toronto, Canada, on 27 August 1873. Her name was registered as Ulla Maude Durrant, the daughter of William Allan Durrant (1851–1917), a shoemaker, and his wife, Isa...

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Ashton, Sir Frederick William Mallandaine (1904–1988), choreographer and director, was born on 17 September 1904 in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the fourth of the five children of George Ashton (1864–1924) and his second wife, Georgiana (1869–1939), daughter of Henry Fulcher and his wife, Edith. His father was manager of the ...

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Beriosova, Svetlana (1932–1998), ballet dancer, was born on 24 September 1932 at Kaunas, Lithuania, the daughter of Nicholas Beriozoff (1906–1996), dancer and ballet master, then a member of the Lithuanian State Ballet, and his first wife, Maria (d. 1941). Her grandparents had migrated to ...

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Booth [née Santlow], Hester (c. 1690–1773), actress and dancer, was born about 1690. Very little is known about her parents and family background, although her mother, Jane (or Joanna), died in April 1724. She was apprenticed to the dancing-master René Cherrier, probably in 1704, and made her début as a dancer at ...

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Bradley, Robert [Buddy] (1908–1972), choreographer, was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on 24 July 1908, the son of Robert Louis Bradley and his wife, Georgia Marguerite, née Walker. He was educated at Harrisburg high school, and on leaving school was apprenticed as a sign writer. He made his stage début as a dancer in 1926 at the ...

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Butterworth, George Sainton Kaye (1885–1916), composer and folk dancer, was born on 12 July 1885 at 16 Westbourne Square, Paddington, London, the only child of Sir Alexander Kaye Butterworth (1854–1946), a solicitor and later general manager of the North Eastern Railway Company, and his wife, ...

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Chappell, William Evelyn [Billy] (1907–1994), dancer and theatre designer, was born on 27 September 1907 in Wolverhampton, the only son of Archibald Chappell and his wife, Edith Eva Clara, née Blair-Staples. He was educated in Wolverhampton and Clapham, London, and at the Chelsea School of Art...

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Cranko, John Cyril (1927–1973), ballet dancer and choreographer, was born on 15 August 1927 in Rustenburg, about 60 miles from Johannesburg, South Africa, the only child of Herbert Cranko, a lawyer who later went on to practise in Johannesburg itself, and his wife, ...

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Alsager Vian

revised by K. D. Reynolds

Dawson, Nancy [real name Ann Newton] (bap. 1728, d. 1767), dancer, was probably the Ann baptized at Axminster, Devon, on 17 January 1728, the daughter of William Newton. In her will she named her parents as William Newton, a staymaker, of Martlett Court, Covent Garden...

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Dixey, Phyllis Selina (1914–1964), variety and striptease artiste, was born on 10 February 1914 at 330 Kingston Road, Merton, Surrey, the second child of Ernest Dixey (1891–1972), ship's steward and later railway attendant, from Sevenoaks, Kent, and his wife, (Phyllis) Selina (1891–1978), daughter of ...

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Dolin, Sir Anton [real name Sydney Francis Patrick Chippindall Healey Kay] (1904–1983), ballet dancer, was born in Slinfold, Sussex, on 27 July 1904, the second of three sons (there were no daughters) of Henry George Kay, amateur cricketer, and later master and owner of the ...

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Elssler, Fransiska [Fanny] (1810–1884), dancer, was born in a suburb of Vienna, Austria, on 23 June 1810, the seventh of the nine children of Johann Florian Elssler (1769–1843), valet and copyist to Haydn, and his wife, Theresia Prinster (1779–1832), an embroideress. Many stories circulated about her youth, the veracity of which cannot be established, among them that ...

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Fonteyn, Dame Margot [real name Margaret Evelyn Hookham; married name Margaret Evelyn de Arias] (1919–1991), ballet dancer, was born on 18 May 1919 at 49 London Road, Reigate, Surrey, the younger child and only daughter of Felix John Hookham (b. 1889)...

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Franca, Celia [real name Nita Celia Franks] (1921–2007), ballet dancer, choreographer, and ballet director, was born on 25 June 1921 at 57 Nicholas Street, Mile End, London, the daughter of Solomon Franks, boot salesman, later ladies' outfitter, and his wife, Gertie, née...

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Fraser, Moyra (1923–2009), ballerina and actress, was born on 3 December 1923 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, the younger daughter and youngest of three children of John Newton Mappin Fraser (1890–1959), company director of the jewellers Mappin and Webb (and the last family member to be chairman of the business), and his wife, ...

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Gable, Christopher Michael (1940–1998), dancer, actor, and ballet director, was born on 13 March 1940 in Hackney Hospital, London, the younger of the two sons of Denis Gable (1901–1976), a dental technician, and his wife, Hylda, née Knights (1906–1987). As a child he entered diverse talent competitions; watching the great film musicals encouraged him to dance, and at eleven he won a scholarship to the ...

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Gardner [married name Dyson], Maureen Angela Jane (1928–1974), athlete and ballet teacher, was born at 88 Chilswell Road, Oxford, on 12 November 1928, the only daughter and elder of two children of Fred Gardner (1888–1959), a police constable, and his second wife, ...

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Garrick [née Veigel], Eva Maria [performing name Violette] (1724–1822), dancer, is best-known as the wife of David Garrick (1717–1779), whom she married on 22 June 1749. She was born into a Roman Catholic family in Vienna, the daughter of Johann Veigel...

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Genée [married name Isitt], Dame Adeline [real name Anina Margarete Kirstina Petra Jensen] (1878–1970), ballet dancer, was born on 6 January 1878 in the Jutland village of Hinnerup, Århus, Denmark, the survivor of twins and younger of two daughters of the Danish farmer ...

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Haskell, Arnold Lionel David (1903–1980), ballet critic, was born on 19 July 1903 in London, the only child of Jacob Silas Haskell, banker, of Queen's Gate, London, and his wife, Emmy Mesritz. He was educated at Westminster School and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge...