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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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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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Essex, John (d. 1744), dancing-master, is of obscure origins, as the place and date of his birth, and his parentage, are unknown. Nothing is known of his early life or his education but by 1702 he was established as a professional dancer at 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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Maureen Angela Jane Gardner (1928–1974) by unknown photographer, 1948 © Getty Images

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Gopal, (Bissano) Ram (1912?–2003), Indian classical dancer, was born, probably on 20 November 1912, in Bangalore, India, the son of a Rajput lawyer and his Burmese wife. Being a cantonment town, Bangalore had a considerable British and Anglo-Indian presence. Gopal's autobiography, Rhythm in the Heavens...

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Isaac, Mr [Edward Isaac] (fl. 1675–1717), dancing-master and choreographer, was a cousin of the Isaac family of musicians in London and Dublin and may have had some connection with the Paris dancers Isac or Isecq. His own surviving dances, however, are English in construction and style....

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Samuel Johnson (1690/9191–1773) by unknown engraver, pubd 1732 [ [as Lord Wildfire playing the violin] and Eliza Haywood (1693?–1756 ) [as Lady Flame on the balcony, in a scene from The Blazing Comet: the Mad Lovers, or, The Beauties of the Poets by Johnson]] © Copyright The British Museum

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Johnson, Samuel (1690/91–1773), dancing-master and playwright, was a native of Cheshire, but the exact place and date of his birth are unknown: as, too, are the names of his parents and other relations. (He had a brother who was a gaoler in Manchester...

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Jooss, Kurt (1901–1979), choreographer and teacher of dance, was born on 12 January 1901, in Wasseralfingen, a suburb of Stuttgart, Germany. His father owned a farm, but as a child Jooss felt vague inclinations toward several arts. While studying at the Stuttgart Academy of Music...

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Laban, Rudolf Jean-Baptiste Attila (1879–1958), dancer and dance theoretician, who developed a comprehensive system of movement notation, was born on 15 December 1879 at Donaulande 12, Bratislava, in the Austro-Hungarian empire, the first among the four children of Field Marshal Rudolf von Laban...

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L'Abbé, Anthony (b. 1666/7, d. in or after 1753), choreographer and dancing-master, about whose birth and parentage nothing is known, joined the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris as a dancer in 1688, at the age of twenty-one. He left in 1698 when ...

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Margaret Eleanor Morris (1891–1980) by Fred Daniels, 1922 © Estate of Frederick William Daniels; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Morris, Margaret Eleanor (1891–1980), teacher of dance, was born on 10 March 1891 at 28 Collingham Place, Kensington, London, the daughter of an artist, William Bright Morris (1844–1896), and his wife, Emily Victoria Maundrell. Her parents took her to live in Boulogne when she was a few weeks old, so she grew up both bilingual and Francophile. In 1900 she joined the ...

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Georgina Julia Parkinson (1938–2009) by Roy Round, 1964 © Roy Round; by kind permission of the Round family

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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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Peacock, Francis (1723/4–1807), dancing-master and musician, was possibly born in or near York, although precise details of his birthplace are unknown. He studied dancing under Desnoyer, later dancing master at George III's court. In 1747 he was recommended to Aberdeen as 'a capable master … of a discreet and moral character' (...

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Somes, Michael George (1917–1994), ballet dancer and teacher, was born on 28 September 1917 at Horsley, Gloucestershire, the younger son of Edwin Joseph Somes (1882–1973), church organist and schoolteacher, and his wife, Ethel Mary Marie, née Pridham (1889–1972), also a schoolteacher. As a small boy he accompanied his mother and her pupils to dancing classes in ...

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Michael George Somes (1917–1994) by Baron, c. 1950 Getty Images – Baron

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Tomlinson, Kenelm [Kellom] (b. c. 1693, d. in or after 1754?), dancing-master and choreographer, about whose birth and parentage nothing is known, was apprenticed to the respected London dancing-master Thomas Caverley from 1707 until 1714. He also studied under René Cherrier of Drury Lane Theatre...