Nicholas Beriozoff


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Svetlana Beriosova (1932—1998) ballet dancer


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(b Kaunas, 16 May 1906; d Zurich, 18 Feb. 1996)

Lithuanian-British dancer, choreographer, and ballet master. He studied in Czechoslovakia at the National Ballet School in Prague and danced with the Prague Opera Ballet and with the Lithuanian National Ballet in Kaunas before joining René Blum's Ballets de Monte Carlo in 1936, where, as rehearsal assistant to Fokine, he learned the Fokine ballets that were to become his speciality as a producer. From 1938 to 1944 he danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, decamping to the US with Massine. In 1944 a knee injury ended his career as a dancer, and it is as a ballet master that he is best remembered. He worked across Europe with many companies, including Ballet International (1944), Metropolitan Ballet (1948), La Scala, Milan (1950–1), London Festival Ballet (1951–4), and Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas (1947, 1956, 1962). He also directed Stuttgart Ballet (where he was Cranko's predecessor, 1957–60), Finnish National Ballet, (1962–4), Zurich Ballet (1964–71), and Teatro San Carlo (1971–3). For London Festival Ballet he revived Les Sylphides, Petrouchka, Scheherazade, and the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor. His own choreography included Le Baiser de la fée (mus. Stravinsky, 1958), Ondine (mus. Henze, 1965), Romeo and Juliet (mus. Prokofiev, 1966), and Cinderella (mus. Prokofiev, 1967) as well as stagings of the 19th-century classics. Father of Svetlana Beriosova.

Subjects: Dance.

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