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List of Famous Ballet Masters

Updated June 8, 2017 5.3k views34 items

List of famous ballet masters, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top ballet masters in the world? This includes the most prominent ballet masters, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable ballet masters is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic ballet masters were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned ballet masters.

This is a list that includes people like George Balanchine and Rudolf Nureyev.

From reputable, prominent, and well known ballet masters to the lesser known ballet masters of today, these are some of the best professionals in the ballet master field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous ballet masters ever?" and "What are the names of famous ballet masters?" then you're in the right place. {#nodes}
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  • Rudolf Nureyev
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev ( NEWR-ee-ef, nyuurr-AY-ef; Tatar: Рудольф Хәмит улы Нуриев; Russian: Рудо́льф Хаме́тович Нуре́ев, IPA: [rʊˈdolʲf nʊˈrʲejɪf]; 17 March 1938 – 6 January 1993) was a Soviet ballet dancer and choreographer. Nureyev is regarded by some as the greatest male ballet dancer of his generation.Nureyev was born on a Trans-Siberian train near Irkutsk, Siberia, Soviet Union to a Bashkir-tatar family. He began his early career with the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg. He defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him. This was the first defection of a Soviet artist during the Cold War, and it created an international sensation. He went on...  more
  • Sir Frederick William Mallandaine Ashton (17 September 1904 – 18 August 1988) was a British ballet dancer and choreographer. He also worked as a director and choreographer in opera, film and revue. Determined to be a dancer, despite the opposition of his conventional middle-class family, Ashton was accepted as a pupil by Léonide Massine and then by Marie Rambert. In 1926 Rambert encouraged him to try his hand at choreography, and though he continued to dance professionally, with success, it was as a choreographer that he became famous. Ashton was chief choreographer to Ninette de Valois, from 1935 until her retirement in 1963, in the company known successively as the Vic-Wells Ballet, the...  more
  • George Balanchine
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    George Balanchine (; born Georgiy Melitonovich Balanchivadze; Russian: Гео́ргий Мелито́нович Баланчива́дзе, Georgian: გიორგი მელიტონის ძე ბალანჩივაძე; January 22, 1904 – April 30, 1983) was an American ballet choreographer who was one of the most influential 20th century choreographers. Styled as the father of American ballet, he co-founded the New York City Ballet and remained its Artistic Director for more than 35 years.Balanchine took the standards and technique from his time at the Imperial Ballet School and fused it with other schools of movement that he had adopted during his tenure on Broadway and in Hollywood, creating his signature "neoclassical style".He was a choreographer known...  more
  • Sir Kenneth MacMillan (11 December 1929 – 29 October 1992) was a British ballet dancer and choreographer who was artistic director of the Royal Ballet in London between 1970 and 1977, and its principal choreographer from 1977 until his death. Earlier he had served as director of ballet for the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. He was also associate director of the American Ballet Theatre from 1984 to 1989, and artistic associate of the Houston Ballet from 1989 to 1992. From a family with no background of ballet or music, MacMillan was determined from an early age to become a dancer. The director of Sadler's Wells Ballet, Ninette de Valois, accepted him as a student and then a member of her company....  more