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Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

(John )

( b Skipton, Yorks., May 24, 1945). English flautist and choreographer of historical dance. He studied at the GSM from 1963 to 1966 with John Francis and Geoffrey Gilbert, and later with Wieland Kuijken in Amsterdam. His technical skill and interpretative insight into period flute playing led to principal positions in the Academy of Ancient Music, English Baroque Soloists and London Classical Players in their pioneering years. Preston was also a founder member of the English Concert, and has made acclaimed recordings of works including Bach's flute sonatas and concertos by Vivaldi. Alongside his active playing and teaching career he is artistic director of the MZT dance company and has choreographed operas by composers ranging from Purcell to Gluck....

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Elizabeth Aldrich

(b Vienna, Austria, 1891; d Woodland Hills, CA, Oct 3, 1967). American dancer and choreographer of Austrian birth. After early studies at Vienna’s Imperial Ballet School, Rasch immigrated to the United States in 1910 at the invitation of Robert H. Burnside, stage director of New York City’s Hippodrome Theatre, and within a month she was dancing a leading role there. From 1911 to 1913 she performed at many of New York City’s theaters, including the Schubert Winter Garden. In 1913 she returned to her ballet roots and became première danseuse for the Century Opera House. After a tour with Sarah Bernhardt (1916–17), Rasch continued her career as a concert dance performer. She opened the Albertina Rasch Dance Studio in New York City in 1923 and later opened a second school in Los Angeles, training dancers to perform in the several traveling companies known as the Albertina Rasch Girls or Albertina Rasch Dancers. By the mid-1920s, approximately 150 dancers were employed as Rasch dancers on vaudeville stages across the country....

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(Wilson)

(b New York, Oct 18, 1918; d New York, July 29, 1998). American dancer, choreographer, ballet company director, theater director, and producer. He was a creative artist of seemingly inexhaustible resources, moving with ease between the worlds of ballet and Broadway. After studying ballet, modern, Spanish, and Oriental dance, he made his début as a dancer in 1937. Most of his early professional experience was as a dancer in Broadway musicals. In 1940 he joined Ballet Theatre (later American Ballet Theatre), for which he created his first ballet, Fancy Free (1944), to music by Leonard Bernstein. Fancy Free was later expanded into On the Town (1945), the first of his many musicals. His association with Bernstein was equally productive in the fields of ballet and musical theater. West Side Story is probably their best-known and most enduring collaboration; Robbins directed and choreographed both the stage and film versions (...

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J.G. Prod’homme and Marian Smith

(b Paris, Sept 17, 1821; d Paris, Sept 2, 1870). French violinist, dancer, choreographer and composer. His real surname was Michel. He studied ballet with his father, a ballet-master at the royal theatre in Stuttgart, and studied the violin with Paganini and Mayseder. He made his début as a violinist in Stuttgart in 1834 and as a dancer in Munich in 1835, when he adopted the name Saint-Léon. In 1837–8 he studied ballet with François Decombe (known as Albert) at the Paris Opéra. From 1838 he toured Europe as a dancer and in 1843 he created the ballet La vivandiera ed il postiglione (music by Rolland) in Rome. He married the ballerina Fanny Cerrito (1817–1909) in 1845; they danced together frequently until their separation in 1851. Meanwhile he became famous as a choreographer. In the early 1850s he was premier maître de ballet at the Opéra. He appeared as choreographer, dancer and violinist in ...

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Sarah McCleave

[‘La Vestale’]

(b 1709 d Paris, July 27, 1756). French dancer and choreographer. New evidence (Rubellin) corrects her date of birth. Her father Etienne Sallé married into the Moylin dynasty of fairground players (to Marie-Alberte Moylin, 11 April 1699), so her early training presumably took place in the inventive atmosphere of the foires. (The restrictions imposed on the forains cultivated their skills as mimes.) She is said to have studied formally with Françoise Prévost, Jean Balon, and also Michel Blondi of the Paris Opéra. Her first known public appearance, on 18 October 1716, was at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, London, with her brother Francis (1705–32). During this season her diverse repertory included Kellom Tomlinson’s notated dance The Submission and comic dances such as ‘The Dutch Skipper’, as well as ‘A Scene in the French Andromach Burlesqued’. On 5 June 1717 Marie and Francis contributed entr’acte dances to Handel’s ...

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[Francesco ]

(d Lisbon, Jan 18, 1775). French choreographer and dancer . His name first appears as ‘Mons. Soutter’, ballet-master for the 1738–9 opera season at the S Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice: his first opera was Rinaldo di Capua’s Farnace. Except for a three-year period in Stuttgart (1758–61), where he immediately preceded Noverre and choreographed three Jommelli operas, Sauveterre worked in Italy until 1766, creating ballets for operas in Padua (1740), Turin (1740–41, 1749–50), Florence (1743–4, 1746–7), Milan (1746, 1748, 1752–3, 1755–6, 1763, 1765), Reggio Emilia (1741, 1750–51, 1753, 1755), Naples (1742, Leo’s Andromaca), Rome (1749), Bologna (1756) and Venice (1749, 1740–51, 1763–6). Sacchini, Paisiello and Guglielmi are among the composers with whom he worked. In 1766 Sauveterre accompanied his student, Pietro Colonna, to Lisbon, and was recommended as dancing-master to the prince and choreographer for the court theatres, replacing Andrea Alberti, ‘Il Tedeschino’; there he choreographed many operas by Jommelli, as well as works by Perez, Piccinni and others. A contemporary writer in Florence described his ballets as superb. He emphasized dramatic and mimetic content in the style of ...

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Stephen Slawek

(b Udaipur, Dec 8, 1900; d Calcutta, Sept 26, 1977). Indian dancer and choreographer. He was the eldest son of Pandit Shyam Shankar Choudhury and the elder brother of the sitār player and composer Ravi Shankar. He showed a strong interest in the performing and expressive arts during his childhood, performing his own interpretations of the traditional dances of Rajasthan and staging magic shows for his family and friends. In 1918 he began to study art at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Bombay. At the request of his father, who had moved to London in the services of the Maharaja of Jhalawar, Shankar enrolled in the Royal College of Art in London in 1920. Sir William Rothenstein, the Principal of that institution, took an interest in Shankar, advising him to study the Indian paintings housed in the British Museum. Shankar’s earlier attraction to dance was nurtured by his growing understanding of the movements he found represented in the artworks which he studied. Soon after graduating in ...