(orig. G. Pyrke; b Bromley, 1926)
British dancer, choreographer and director. She studied at The Royal Academy of Dancing, the Cone-Ripman School, and the Arts Educational School with Volkova, Preobrajenska and others, making her debut with Ballet Guild in 1943. She danced with Sadler's Wells Ballet between 1944 and 1951 then became principal dancer at the London Palladium. She became one of the finest modern stage dancers of her generation and appeared on television and in musicals before turning to choreography. A seminal influence on British jazz dance she choreographed the hit musical Cats (1981) which was followed by many other productions for the commercial stage, and also by several ballets including A Simple Man (for Northern Ballet Theatre, mus. C. Davis, 1987), The Brontës (for NBT, mus. Dominic Muldowney, 1995), and Journey (Bolshoi Ballet, 1998). She choreographed the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2005).
Subjects: Music — Performing Arts.