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Algeranoff, Harcourt [real name Harcourt Algernon Leighton Essex] (1903–1967), dancer and ballet master, was born in London on 18 April 1903, the son of Thomas Richard Essex, a sculptor, and his wife, Alice Kendall. He was named Harcourt Algernon Leighton Essex. He dropped his original name and assumed that of ...

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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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Sir Frederick William Mallandaine Ashton (1904–1988) by Baron, c. 1945 Getty Images – Baron

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Barnes, Clive Alexander (1927–2008), dance and drama critic, was born on 13 May 1927 at St Thomas's Hospital, Lambeth, London, the only child of Arthur Lionel Barnes (1898–1940), ambulance driver, and his wife, Freda Marguerite, née Garratt. After their divorce when Clive was seven his mother brought him up (reconciliation later on was cut short by ...

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Beaumont, Cyril William (1891–1976), dance historian and critic, was born on 1 November 1891 at 37 Stockwell Park Crescent, Lambeth, the eldest of three children of Frederick John Beaumont and his wife, Mary Henrietta Balchin. His father was an engineer and the son of an inventor, and was involved with the entertainment business as a prestidigitator and cinematographer. His mother's family had links with ...

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Benesh [née Rothwell], Joan Dorothy (1920–2014), ballet dancer and choreologist, was born on 26 March 1920 at 14 Menlove Avenue, Wavertree, Liverpool, the only daughter and elder child of Reginald Edward Rothwell (1893–1950), army officer and engineer, and his wife ...

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Svetlana Beriosova (1932–1998) by Baron, 1954 [ and Michael Somes (1917-1994), in Rinaldo and Armida] Corbis

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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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Berk [née Heymansohn], Lieselotte [Lotte] (1913–2003), dancer and fitness trainer, was born on 17 January 1913 in Cologne, Germany, the only daughter of Jewish parents. Her Russian father, Nicolai Heymansohn, was originally a tailor and owned shops selling clothing for men. Her German mother died of a stroke when ...

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Bicknell [née Younger], Margaret (1681–1723), actress and dancer, was born on 11 November 1681 in Edinburgh, the daughter of James Younger, a soldier, and his wife, Margaret Keith. Both of her parents were born in Scotland. She was the elder sister of the actress and dancer ...

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Blair, David [real name David Butterfield] (1932–1976), ballet dancer, was born David Butterfield on 27 July 1932 at the Royal Halifax Infirmary, Halifax, Yorkshire, the elder child and only son of John Butterfield, moquette weaver, and his wife, Zetté Carolyne Elizabeth Whiteley...

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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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Hester Booth (c. 1690–1773) by John Ellys private collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Robert Bradley (1908–1972) by unknown photographer, 1934 [centre, in the musical Evergreen] Getty Images

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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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Brae, June [real name June Telfer Bear] (1917–2000), ballet dancer, was born at St Ives, Ringwood, Hampshire, on 17 May 1917, the daughter of John McMillan Bear, a civil engineer, and his wife, May Alfreda Byerley. She travelled as a child to ...

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Brind, Bryony Jane Susan St John (1960–2015), ballet dancer, was born on 27 May 1960 at the Royal Marine Barracks, Stonehouse, Plymouth, the daughter of Roger Michael Atchley Brind (b. 1934), a lieutenant, then major, in the Royal Marines, and his wife ...

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Brinson, Peter Neilson (1920–1995), writer and lecturer on dance, was born on 6 March 1920 at Sea View Villa, North Parade, Llandudno, the son of Harold Neilson Brinson, a major in the King's Liverpool regiment and cotton broker, and his wife, Vera Mabel Mathison...

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Buckle, (Christopher) Richard Sandford [Dicky] (1916–2001), ballet critic and exhibition organizer, was born on 6 August 1916 at Old Cottage, Warcop, Westmorland, the only child of Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Galbraith Buckle (d. 1918), of the Northamptonshire regiment, and his wife, Rose Evelyn, née...