André Prokovsky


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(b Paris, 13 Jan. 1939; d 15 Aug. 2009)

French dancer, choreographer, and ballet director. He studied with Lubov Egorova, Nora Kiss, Serge Peretti, and Nicholas Zvereff, making his debut in 1954 with the Comédie-Française in Molière's Les Amants magnifiques. He then danced with the companies of Charrat (1954), Babilée (1954), and Petit (1956) before starting a lengthy association with London Festival Ballet (1957–60, 1966–73). He additionally danced with Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas (1960–2) and New York City Ballet (1963–6). Noted for his bravura technique, he formed an acclaimed partnership with Galina Samsova while at London Festival Ballet. He created roles in Dolin's Variations for Four (1957), d'Amboise's The Chase (1963) and Irish Fantasy (1964), Balanchine's Pas de deux and Divertissement (1965) and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (1966), J. Carter's The Unknown Island (1969), Hynd's Dvořák Variations (1970), and Darrell's Othello (title role, 1971). In 1972 he and Samsova (then his wife) started a company which later became New London Ballet. It disbanded in 1977, although was briefly revived in 1979. For his own company he choreographed Scarlatti and Friends (mus. Scarlatti, 1972), Bagatelles, Opus 126 (mus. Beethoven, 1972), Vespri (mus. Verdi, 1973), Piano Quartet No. 1 (mus. Beethoven, 1974), Folk Songs (mus. Berio, 1974), Elégie (mus. Fauré, 1975), Commedia I (mus. R. R. Bennett, 1975), Königsmark (mus. Tchaikovsky, 1979). For Australian Ballet he created the full-length Anna Karenina (mus. Tchaikovsky, 1979) and The Three Musketeers (mus. Verdi, Woolfenden, 1980); for PACT Ballet The Seven Deadly Sins (mus. Weill, 1975); for CAPAB Ballet Zhivago (mus. Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, 1983); for London Festival Ballet The Storm (mus. Shostakovich, 1981), Verdi Variations (mus. Verdi, 1981), and That Certain Feeling (mus. Gershwin, 1984); for Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet Vocalise Opus 34 (mus. Rachmaninoff, 1984); for Northern Ballet Theatre The Nutcracker (1981), Brahms Love Songs (mus. Brahms, 1983), and Swan Lake (1986); for London City Ballet Romeo and Juliet (mus. Berlioz, arr. Salzedo, 1985) and La traviata (mus. Verdi, arr. Woolfenden, 1989); for Pittsburgh Ballet The Great Gatsby (1987); for Royal Ballet of Flanders Romeo and Juliet (new version, 1997); and for Guangdong Ballet, Turandot. He was artistic director of Rome Opera Ballet (1977–8) but from 1979 he worked solely as a freelance choreographer. Later in his career a number of his works entered the repertories of the Louisville and Sarasota Ballets.

Subjects: Dance.

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