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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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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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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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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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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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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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Helpmann, Sir Robert Murray (1909–1986), ballet dancer and actor, was born on 9 April 1909 at Kingsley House, Bay Road, Mount Gambier, South Australia, the eldest of the three children of James Murray Helpman (1881–1927), stock judge and auctioneer, and his wife, Mary (1883–1970)...

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Hinton, Paula Doris (1924–1996), ballet dancer, was born at 132 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex, on 1 June 1924, the elder child of (Alfred) Ernest Hinton (1895–1962) and his wife, Doris Clara Miriam, née Hurley (d. 1972). They were travelling players, appearing in operas and other entertainments, so their daughters' early lives were peripatetic. The family settled in ...

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Karsavina, Tamara Platonovna (1885–1978), ballet dancer, was born in St Petersburg on 9 March (25 February os) 1885, the daughter of Platon Karsavin. She grew up with her brother, Lev, in an artistic family (her father was a danseur, mime, and ballet teacher with the ...

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Lopokova, Lydia Vasilievna [Lidiya Vasilyevna Lopukhova; married name Lydia Vasilievna Keynes, Lady Keynes] (1892–1981), ballet dancer, was born on 21 October 1892 at St Petersburg, Russia, the third of five children (three sons and two daughters) and second daughter of Vasily Lopukhov, an impassioned theatre lover and an usher at the ...

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Markova, Dame Alicia [real name Lilian Alicia Marks] (1910–2004), ballet dancer, was born on 1 December 1910 at 23 Wilberforce Road, Finsbury Park, London, the eldest of the four daughters of Arthur Tristman Marks (d. 1924), a mining engineer, and his wife, ...

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May, Pamela [real name Doris Maud May] (1917–2005), ballet dancer, was born on 30 May 1917 in San Fernando, Trinidad, the daughter of Reginald Henry May, civil engineer. She moved to England with her parents when she was four. After local schooling and some early ballet lessons, then courses at the ...

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Menuhin [née Gould], Diana Rosamond Constance Grace Irene, Lady Menuhin (1912–2003), ballet dancer, was born on 12 November 1912 at 39 Lowndes Street, Belgravia, London, the elder daughter and second of three children of Gerard Louis Eugene Gould, a civil servant of Irish extraction, and his wife, ...

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Nerina, Nadia [real name Nadine Judd] (1927–2008), ballerina, was born on 21 October 1927 in Cape Town, South Africa, the daughter of Frank Lawrence Judd, a car company executive, and his wife, Nerina, whose name (from nerine, a South African flower) became part of ...

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Parkinson, Georgina Julia (1938–2009), ballerina and ballet mistress, was born on 20 August 1938 at 45 Embassy Court, King's Road, Brighton, Sussex, the daughter of George Parkinson, a turf accountant or bookmaker, and his wife, Winifred, née Berg. Her father became addicted to gambling and his losses kept his family perpetually short of money. She nevertheless led an active childhood. In a much later interview she said, 'I did just about everything. I used to ice skate, play the piano, take singing lessons and dramatic art and of course, ballet lessons as well. It soon became clear that I was better at ballet than any of the other things' (...

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Pavlova, Anna Pavlovna [formerly Anna Matveyevna Pavlova] (1881–1931), ballet dancer, was born in St Petersburg on 31 January/12 February 1881 according to an entry in the register of the St Petersburg military hospital; she later changed her second name to Pavlovna...

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Rambert, Dame Marie [née Cyvia Ramberg] (1888–1982), ballet dancer and founder of the Rambert Dance Company, was born in Poland on 20 February 1888 at Warsaw, then under Russian domination, the third of six children (four girls and two boys) of Yakov Ramberg...

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Shearer, Moira [née Moira Shearer King; married name Moira Shearer Kennedy, Lady Kennedy] (1926–2006), ballet dancer, actress, and writer, was born on 17 January 1926 at Morton Lodge, Dunfermline, Fife, the only child of Harold Charles King, civil engineer, and his wife, ...