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Christopher Gable

(1940—1998) dancer, actor, and ballet director


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British dancer, actor, and ballet director. He studied at the Royal Ballet School and joined the touring section of the Royal Ballet in 1957, promoted to soloist in 1959 and principal in 1961 Early on he was paired with Lynn Seymour; their mutual flair for dramatic interpretation making theirs one of the most acclaimed partnerships in British ballet. A glamorous stage presence, Gable was also fine danseur noble material, but after transferring to Covent Garden in 1963 he stayed for only four years, before pursuing a career in acting. He created roles in MacMillan's The Invitation (1960) and Images of Love (1964), and Ashton's The Two Pigeons (1961). MacMillan additionally created Romeo and Juliet (1965) for him and Seymour, although its premiere was danced by Fonteyn and Nureyev, a snub that soured Gable's subsequent relationship with the Covent Garden management. His acting career was relatively successful, including the title role in Ken Russell's film The Boy Friend (1972) and Lysander in Peter Brook's 1970 staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 1982 he opened the Central School of Ballet in London, which he continued to direct until his death. In 1987 he was appointed artistic director of Northern Ballet Theatre leading the campaign to save the company from potential closure following a threat to its public funding. He created the role of L. S. Lowry in Gillian Lynne's A Simple Man for Northern Ballet Theatre in 1987, also the role of Don Quixote in his own production, The Amazing Adventures of Don Quixote, for the same company in 1989. He staged many productions for NBT, including Giselle (1990, 1997), Romeo and Juliet (1991), Swan Lake (1992), A Christmas Carol (1992), Cinderella (1993), The Brontës (with Gillian Lynne, 1995), Dracula (1996), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (with Michael Pink, 1998).

From The Oxford Dictionary of Dance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Dance.


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