Desmond Kelly

(b. 1942)

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(b Penhalonga, S. Rhodesia, 13 Jan. 1942)

British dancer. He studied with Ruth French in London and joined London Festival Ballet in 1959 where he was appointed principal in 1963. After guesting with New Zealand Ballet, Washington National Ballet, and Zurich Ballet with his wife, dancer Denise LeComte, he joined Royal Ballet in 1970 as principal. Although not a virtuoso he was a fine partner and actor and created roles in several ballets, including Tetley's Field Figures (1970), J. Carter's Shukumei (1957), and MacMillan's Playground (1979). He was a favoured partner of Fonteyn and a renowned Albrecht. In 1976 he joined Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet where he became ballet master (1978) and assistant director (1990) and continued to perform some character roles. In 2008 he was appointed artistic director of Elmhurst Ballet School.

Subjects: Dance.

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