23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 07:00

Ballet star Alexander Grant dies aged 86

Category: Entertainment

Published: 4th Oct 2011 11:46:43

Former Royal Ballet dancer Alexander Grant, who co-founded Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, has died aged 86.

He was also artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada from 1976 to 1983.

"Alexander Grant's death is a great loss to the Royal Ballet, in whose history he holds a unique place," Monica Mason, director of the Royal Ballet, told The Stage newspaper.

The dancer, renowned for his character roles, died in London on Friday.

He had been ill for eight months after a hip operation left him hospitalised with infections and pneumonia.

During his career, he was closely associated with Ecuadoran-born choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, the founder choreographer of The Royal Ballet.

One his most notable roles was the one he created for himself in Ashton's La Fille Mal Gardee.

He played Alain, a rich farmer's son whose deliberately "clumsy" dancing portrayed a naive and childlike character.

Ms Mason said the Royal Ballet had "welcomed him back regularly as the custodian of La Fille Mal Gardee" over the years.

The company plan to revive the ballet next year and dedicate the show to his memory, she added.

The artistic director of Canada's National Ballet, Karen Kain, described Grant as a "charming, humorous and sympathetic person".

Born in New Zealand, Grant began studying ballet aged seven, and was eventually offered a scholarship in London.

In 1946 he joined the Royal Ballet, where he danced for 30 years, appearing in 30 Ashton ballets.

He went on to work as a coach and character dancer with the English National Ballet.

Memorable roles included The Dandy in Leonide Massine's The Three-Cornered Hat; The Jester in Ashton's Cinderella; and Eros in Sylvia.

In 1965, Grant was made a Commander of the British Empire in recognition of his contribution to dance.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2011. Ballet star Alexander Grant dies aged 86 [Online] (Updated 4th Oct 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/191089/Ballet-star-Alexander-Grant-dies-aged-86 [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Shakespeare 'a cultural icon' abroad

    William Shakespeare is the UK's greatest cultural icon, according to the results of an international survey released to mark the 450th anniversary of his birth.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Llanishen reservoir campaign plea to David Cameron

    Campaigners calling for a Cardiff reservoir to re-open will visit the prime minister to press their case to restore fishing and sailing there.
  • Future of the internet debated at NetMundial in Brazil

    A meeting to determine how the internet should be governed gets underway in Sao Paulo, Brazil later.
  • A 'third of UK adults struggle' to afford healthy food

    High food prices mean a third of UK adults are struggling to afford to eat healthily, warns a charity.
  • Tony Blair: 'West should focus on radical Islam'

    Tony Blair will warn Western leaders they must put aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the threat of Islamic extremism.