Troubador Cranko

Released: 28/09/2022

ISBN: 9781803132570

eISBN: 9781803133560

Format: Paperback/eBook

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the Man and his Choreography


Shortly after the New York Times had hailed John Cranko’s achievement as 'The German Ballet Miracle', his death mid-Atlantic deprived the world of one of its greatest choreographers. After leaving his native South Africa at eighteen, never to return, Cranko quickly became a resident choreographer with the Royal Ballet. He collaborated closely with luminaries such as Benjamin Britten and John Piper and encouraged the young Kenneth MacMillan. Tirelessly innovative, he devised a hit musical revue, Cranks as well as perennial favourites such as Pineapple Poll. His charm and wit endeared him to colleagues and royalty alike, but in the late 1950s his star began to wane. This, and a much-publicised scandal, drove Cranko to leave England for Germany. There, his work as director and choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet enjoyed phenomenal success in USA, Russia and Europe. Fifty years after his tragically early death, Cranko’s story ballets continue to enrich ballet audiences around the world.

The author danced in the Stuttgart Ballet’s premieres of Cranko’s Onegin, Romeo and Juliet and many more. He reveals the man behind the masterpieces and explores an array of lesser-known works, bringing to light fascinating facts about the genesis of Cranko’s ballets. Lavishly illustrated with rare photographs, the book contains Cranko’s personal letters and extensive reference material. It brings the reader surprising insights into the life and work of a truly exceptional man of theatre.

"...nothing prepared me for the depth of research and perception that Ashley has brought to his subject... it is the emotional and intellectual acuity, and above all the sheer readability of his book which I believe will not only mark it out as the definitive record of Cranko and his ballets, but also make it widely read and enjoyed." From the Foreword by Sir David Bintley

"A very knowledgeable, personal and meticulously researched work.Ashley has written the book with care, passion and love!" Reid Anderson, Intendant Stuttgart Ballet 1996-2018

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Ashley Killar

Ashley Killar trained from age ten to graduation at the Royal Ballet School, receiving his first contract as a dancer from John Cranko at Stuttgart Ballet. Cranko's work continued to inspire Ashley throughout his career as soloist and choreographer with Scottish Ballet, Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet and as artistic director of Napac Dance Company and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Former students from Killar's vocational ballet school in Sydney, Australia, are dancing in companies around the world.

Ashley Killar
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