Norman Morrice


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(b Agua Dulce, Mexico, 10 Sept. 1931; d London, 11 Jan. 2008)

British dancer, choreographer, and ballet director. He studied first in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, then at the Rambert School (from 1952), and later with Graham in New York. He joined Ballet Rambert in 1953 and became a principal dancer, taking up choreography in 1958 and eventually becoming Rambert's principal choreographer in 1962. In 1966, when the company opted to focus on modern dance, he was named associate director. Under his supervision full-length classical ballets were dropped from the repertoire; new work was promoted and Tetley was invited to work with the company. Between 1970 and 1974 Morrice was promoted to full director but he then resigned the post to pursue his choreographic career, developing a contemporary idiom and subject matter in works that he created for both Rambert and the Batsheva company in Israel. In 1977 he was appointed director of the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, where he remained until 1986. For the Royal he staged new productions of Swan Lake (1979) and Giselle (1980). He invited Richard Alston to make his first ballet, Midsummer, for the Royal in 1983. From 1987 he was director of choreographic studies at the Royal Ballet School.

A list of his works includes Two Brothers (mus. Dohnányi, 1958), Hazana (mus. Surinach, 1959), A Place in the Desert (mus. Surinach, 1961), Conflicts (mus. Bloch, 1962), The Travellers (mus. Salzedo, 1963), Side Show (mus. Hindemith, 1966), Hazard (mus. Salzedo, 1967), Rehearsal (mus. Poulenc, 1968), Them and Us (mus. Xenakis, 1968), Blind-Sight (mus. Bob Downes, 1969), The Empty Suit (mus. Salzedo, 1970), That is the Show (mus. Berio, 1971), Spindrift (mus. J. Lewis, 1974), Trek (mus. Lester, 1975), Fragments from a Distant Past (mus. Janáček, Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, 1976), and Seven Songs (Australian Dance Theatre, 1977).

Subjects: Dance.

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