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Espinosa


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Renowned family of dancers and teachers, originally of Spanish extraction. Léon E. (1825–1904) studied at the Paris Opera school, danced at the Théâtre de la Porte-Saint-Martin, then toured the US (where he was reputedly captured by Indians in 1850) before joining the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow as premier danseur de contrast (a category specially invented for him as he was so short). He finally settled in London in 1872 where he opened a school. His wife and daughter (Lea) both taught tap dance as well as ballet. His son Édouard (1871–1950) was a dancer and producer of spectacular entertainments as well as being a renowned teacher and author of several books. De Valois was one of his pupils. He was one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Dancing in 1920 and of the British Ballet Organisation in 1930. After his death the latter was directed by his son Edward Kelly-Espinosa (d13 Oct. 1991) and daughter Yvette E. (d5 May 1992). The wife of Édouard's nephew Geoffrey, Bridget E. (née Kelly; b 1928) danced with Embassy Ballet (1947) and International Ballet (1948) and was artistic director of Elmhurst Ballet School from 1966.

Subjects: Dance.


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