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Peter Darrell


Among the young lions of new choreography who grew up in Britain’s post-war world it was Peter Darrell (1929-1987) who emerged as the supreme master of narrative dance in classical ballet.

Few have ever excelled his ability to tell story in movement, though the stories he chose to tell were not the usual ones. Throughout his career he portrayed the flickering, fleeting workings of people’s inner selves, their unspoken thoughts and inner motivations in a way that only physical movement can, in ballets that were sometimes as shocking as they were revealing.

Darrell’s work changed the way people looked at ballet and permanently lodged in it dimensions of psychological truth and contemporary realism that offered dance an appeal far beyond its traditional audience. From his earliest revolutionary ensemble, Western Theatre Ballet, through to the company he founded that became Scotland’s national ballet, the Scottish Ballet, Peter Darrell was a powerful force and a creator of uncommon brilliance.

Darrell ballet in The Sarasota Ballet repertoire: Othello

†American premiere

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