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Andrée Howard

(1910—1968)


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(b London, 3 Oct. 1910; d London, 18 Mar. 1968)

British dancer, choreographer, and designer. She studied with Rambert, Egorova, Preobrajenska, Trefilova, and Kshessinska and was a founder member of Ballet Club in 1930. In 1933 she moved to de Basil's Ballets Russes but illness curtailed her dancing activities and in the same year she turned to choreography. Her first work, created for Ballet Club, was Our Lady's Juggler, a re-working of Susan Salaman's 1930 ballet of the same name set to music by Respighi. This was followed by others, including Mermaid (with Salaman, mus. Ravel, 1934), Cinderella (mus. Weber, 1935), Death and the Maiden (mus. Schubert, 1937), and Lady into Fox (mus. Honegger, 1939), all for Ballet Club (later Ballet Rambert). When in 1939 she was invited to New York for American Ballet Theatre's inaugural season, she staged and danced in the last two ballets. In 1940 she created La Fête étrange (mus. Fauré) for London Ballet, which went into the repertory of Ballet Rambert and was later revived by the Royal Ballet (1957) and Scottish Theatre Ballet (1971). Its economical but intensely atmospheric creation of mood typified Howard's poetic gifts, also her ability to create drama through pure dance. As a freelance choreographer she created several more works for Ballet Rambert including Carnival of Animals (mus. Saint-Saëns, 1943) and The Sailor's Return (mus. Oldham, 1947) which was the first British two-act ballet. Other works include Twelfth Night (mus. Grieg, International Ballet, 1942), Assembly Ball (mus. Bizet, Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, 1946), Mardi gras (mus. Salzedo, SWTB, 1946), Selina (mus. Rossini, SWTB, 1948), A Mirror for Witches (mus. ApIvor, Sadler's Wells Ballet, 1952), La Belle Dame sans merci (mus. A. Goehr, Edinburgh Festival Ballet, 1958), and Les Baricades mystérieuses (mus. Couperin, Turkish State Ballet, 1963). She designed many of her own ballets, also collaborating with Sophie Fedorovitch. In later years she concentrated on painting.

Subjects: Dance.


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