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Pamela May

(1917—2005) ballet dancer


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(orig. Doris May; b San Fernando, Trinidad, 30 May 1917; d 6 Jun. 2005)

British dancer and teacher. She studied with Freda Grant in London, Olga Preobrajenska, and Lubov Egorova in Paris, and de Valois at the Sadler's Wells Ballet School from 1933. She made her debut at the Vic-Wells Ballet in 1934 and rapidly emerged, along with Fonteyn, as one of the key performers in early British ballet. She created roles in de Valois's Checkmate (1937), The Prospect Before Us (1940), Orpheus and Eurydice (1941), and Don Quixote (1950), in Ashton's Les Patineurs (1937), A Wedding Bouquet (1937), Horoscope (1938), Dante Sonata (1940), The Wanderer (1941), Symphonic Variations (1946), and Cinderella (1948). A dancer of enormous versatility, she started performing the classical ballerina repertory during the 1940s yet also made her mark in supporting roles like the Lilac Fairy and Myrtha. After 1952 she became a leading character artist with the company and also taught at the Royal Ballet School (1954–77).

Subjects: Dance.


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