As Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. X
The weekend brought news of the death of Australian-born star of Britain’s Royal Ballet, Errol Pickford. After years in London he moved back to Perth to dance with the West Australian Ballet.
He was only fifty-one at the time of his death.
As the Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty.
Pickford was known for his powerful dancing, and was famous for his performances in The Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote.
These images were taken in Amsterdam on the 9th of June, 1960. The Bolshoi Ballet arrives in the Netherlands for an international tour.
The Soviets believed nobody could surpass them in the arts, however dancers of the Bolshoi (Moscow) and Kirov (Saint Petersburg) companies were not always allowed to leave the USSR. Some dancers defected, while others were considered unsuitable, such as superstar Maya Plisetskaya, a Lithuanian Jew whose family faced heavy persecution in Russia.
Gelsey Kirkland, star of American Ballet Theatre, is seen here as Kitri in Don Quixote on the cover of TIME Magazine on the 1st of May, 1978. Kirkland, whose professional career began with New York City Ballet at only fifteen, moved to ABT in 1974, where she found fame dancing with Soviet ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov.
The romantic ballet La Sylphide premiered in Paris on the 12th of March, 1832. The ballet was created by Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni as a showcase for his ballerina daughter Marie, the dancer generally credited with being the first to ever dance en pointe.
As the original production was lost, French choreographer Pierre Lacotte used old records and images to recreate a new production for the Paris Opera in the 1970s.
This promotional photograph by Francette Levieux is from the revival. It features Michaël Denard as James and Ghislaine Thesmar in the title role. Thesmar is the wife of Lacotte.
This photograph, dated the 2nd of March, 1986, was released to the media to introduce “the new generation of American Ballet Theatre stars”.
Pictured are Gil Boggs, Amanda McKerrow, John Turjoman and Bonnie Moore.
A 1985 interview with Turjoman and Moore, where they discuss interpreting Romeo and Juliet as very young dancers, can be read HERE.
McKerrow went on to be known as one of the greatest ballerinas in the history of ABT.