Biography of Bryan Ashbridge (1926-1995)

Dancer, producer and artistic director New Zealand, born in Wellington in 1926 and died in Melbourne on August 16, 1995.

He began a career of athlete after completing his studies at Auckland Grammar School, where he/she excelled as a cricket and soccer player. His growing interest in dance led him to study with the masters Helene Kirsova and Edouard Borovansky in Sydney; in 1947 he/she went to London to expand his training at the school of completo Sadler Wells Ballet. He/She joined the company in 1948, he/she was promoted to soloist in 1954 and principal dancer in 1958. He/She appeared in the film The Red Shoes (1948) and was a regular partner of the dancers Margot Fonteyn, Svetlana Beriosova and Moira Shearer, Rowena Jackson, Beryl Grey. He/She played many roles of MIME in ballets from the classical repertoire, and premiered Birthday Offering (1956) of Ashton and The Shadow (1953) by Cranko. He/She left the company in 1965 to work as a producer in different ballet and music programmes for the BBC and New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. In 1966 he/she joined the Ballet of Australia as associate director of the same, along with Peggy van Praagh. He/She was awarded the Adeline Genée gold medal in 1947.