John Cranko, a choreographer with a distinguished but remarkably short career, was born on August 15, 1927 in Rustenburg, South Africa. He received his dance education primarily at the University of Cape Town, where he choreographed his first ballet to Stravinsky’s Suite from The Soldier’s Tale
In 1946, he continued his studies at the Sadler’s Wells School in London and shortly afterwards became a member of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet (subsequently The Royal Ballet), which nurtured his creative talent. Within four years John Cranko was named Resident Choreographer of the troupe, and he made some of his finest early ballets for the Sadler’s Wells dancers: Beauty and the Beast
(1949), Pineapple Poll
(1951), and Harlequin in April
Photos by Hannes Kilian. © Copyright 2012 Ballet Theatre Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.