Betty Oliphant


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(b London, 5 Aug. 1918; d 12 Jul. 2004)

British-Canadian dancer, teacher, and ballet mistress. She studied stage dance, and classical ballet with Karsavina and Novikov, going on to choreograph and perform in musicals on the London stage. In 1949 she opened a school in Toronto and in 1951 was appointed ballet mistress of the newly formed National Ballet of Canada. In 1959 she became director of the National Ballet School and under her leadership this developed into one of the world's foremost training institutions. She retired in 1989. She also served as associate artistic director of the National Ballet (1969–75). She published her autobiography, Miss O: My Life in Dance, in 1997.

Subjects: Dance.

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