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Walter Gore


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(b Waterside, Scotland, 8 Oct. 1910; d Pamplona, Spain, 16 Apr. 1979)

British dancer, choreographer, and company director. One of Rambert's early choreographers. He studied acting at the Italia Conti School (from 1924) and dance with Massine and Rambert, joining the latter's company in 1930. Between 1935 and 1937 he worked briefly with the Vic-Wells Ballet, where he created the title role in de Valois's The Rake's Progress, and then in West End musicals as dancer and choreographer. After returning to Ballet Rambert as a soloist, he created his first ballet for the company in 1938, Valse finale (mus. Ravel). Service in the Royal Navy during the Second World War interrupted his choreographic career, but on his return to Rambert he created Simple Symphony (mus. Britten, 1944), Mr Punch (mus. Oldham, 1946), Concerto burlesco (mus. Bartók, 1946), Winter Night (mus. Rachmaninoff, 1948), and Antonia (mus. Sibelius, 1949). He left Rambert in 1950 to work freelance, for example choreographing La Damnée (1951) for Ballets des Champs-Elysées and Carte blanche (mus. J. Addison, 1953) for Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet. In 1953 he formed the Walter Gore Ballet which toured Australia. He subsequently worked in America, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt, where he was director of the Frankfurt Ballet (1957–9) and choreographed Eaters of Darkness (mus. Britten, 1958), then becoming founder and director of London Ballet (1961–3) and ballet master of the Gulbenkian Ballet in Lisbon (1965–9). His later works included Night and Silence (mus. Bach, arr. Mackerras, Edinburgh Festival, 1958), Sweet Dancer (mus. F. Martin, Ballet Rambert, 1964), and Embers of Glencoe (mus. Tom Wilson, Scottish Theatre Ballet, 1973). Although he choreographed more than 80 ballets, few survived in the repertoire.

Subjects: Performing artsDance

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