Thompson, trained by the Sadlers Wells Ballet School in London, was a former soloist with the American Ballet Theatre in New York and former artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet.
He also was a former master of the Chicago-based Joffrey Ballet, and only recently had reconstructed ``Petrouchka'' for the Joffrey's Nureyev Tribute.
Thompson began his performance career with the Covent Garden Opera Ballet. In 1955, he transferred to the Sadlers Wells Ballet Co., now the Royal Ballet. He joined the American Ballet Theatre in 1960. In 1967, he joined the Joffrey as ballet master, working closely with Robert Joffrey at a time when the company was at its creative peak.
Beats me why this wasn't linked in the Dance Section of the NY Times Arts, but it wasn't.
I'm hoping people will add some personal memories of Basil Thompson here. [I'm sure Major Mel must have known him.] I had the pleasure of studying with him at NJ Ballet in perhaps 1980... must have been just after he left the Joffrey? First we had his ex-wife, Alaine Haubert... whom isn't mentioned in the obituary... but I believe they had a child together? Then she headed out to teach at a university in Hawaii (later returning to become ballet mistress for ABT... though I don't believe she's there now...) and Charthel Arthur took over her classes... then she headed out to Grand Rapids and Basil Thompson took over... we had a regular conduit to Joffrey talent in those days! It's been a long while, but I still remember a correction or two of his... about arabesques mostly... he was always getting after us not to resemble railroad crossing signs, if I remember ;). In some ways his style reminded me of Patrelli's. Years later, I ran into him again when I was shooting for Ballet Chicago and he set a charming "Coppelia" on them. It was one of the last things they did as a company... Meredith Benson was wonderful in it, although she had already performed the ballet as set by Frederic Franklin on ?Cincinatti? Ballet (or was it Cleveland?).
For some reason, the word "droll" comes to mind when I think of Basil.