Francia Russell

(b. 1938)

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(b Los Angeles, 1938)

US dancer and director. She studied with Doubrovska, Volkova, Joffrey, and Balanchine, joining New York City Ballet in 1956 where she became soloist in 1959 and ballet mistress in 1964. During the 1970s she worked as guest ballet mistress in Europe until she was appointed co-artistic director (with Kent Stowell) of the Frankfurt Ballet in 1975. In 1977 they moved to Pacific Northwest Ballet as directors (Russell also directing the company school), and until her retirement in 2004 she was responsible for staging the company's Balanchine repertory. She has additionally staged his ballets for companies throughout the world, including the Shanghai Ballet (1987) and the Kirov (1988–9), the first time Balanchine's ballets were staged in Russia.

Subjects: Dance.

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