Keith Lester


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(b Guildford, 9 Apr. 1904; d London, 8 Jun. 1993)

British dancer, choreographer, and teacher. He studied with Dolin, Astafieva, N.Legat, and Fokine and made his debut in the latter's dances for Hassan in London, 1923. He danced in several concert tours, his partners including Kyasht (1924–6), Karsavina (1927–30), and Spessivtseva (1931). He also danced with various companies including Rubinstein's (Paris, 1934) and Markova-Dolin Ballet (1935–7) for which he also choreographed several works including David (mus. Jacobson, 1935) and Pas de quatre (mus. Pugni, 1936). In 1939 he danced with Tudor's London Ballet (also choreographing Pas de déesses to music by Pugni). In 1940 he founded Arts Theatre Ballet with H. Turner for which he created Sylvia (mus. Delibes, 1940), among others. From 1945 to 1960 he worked at London's Windmill Theatre as principal dancer and choreographer, staging over 150 shows and created the Windmill's famous fan dances. He was appointed principal teacher of London's Royal Academy of Dancing in 1964 and was made Fellow of the RAD in 1975.

Subjects: Dance.

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