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Wayne Sleep

(b. 1948)


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(b Plymouth, 17 Jul. 1948)

British dancer. He studied at the Royal Ballet School and joined the Royal Ballet in 1966, becoming soloist (1970) and principal dancer (1973–83). Though too short for the standard Prince roles, his virtuoso technique made him outstanding in demi-caractère roles like Puck in The Dream. He created roles in Ashton's Jazz Calendar, Enigma Variations (both 1968), and A Month in the Country (1976), also in MacMillan's Anastasia (1971 version), Elite Syncopations, Manon (both 1974), and The Four Seasons (1975). He formed his own dance group, Dash, in 1980 which also toured under the names The Hot Shoe Show and Bits and Pieces as well as developing a successful freelance career in film, theatre, and opera, creating a role in the Lloyd Webber musical Cats and acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He choreographed his first work, David and Goliath, for London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1975 (with Robert North, mus. C. Davis, London), Savoy Suite for English National Ballet (mus. Gilbert and Sullivan, arr. C. Davis, 1993), and many works for his own company. In 2003 he returned to the Royal to guest as the little Ugly Sister in Ashton's Cinderella.

Subjects: Dance.


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