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Death of Ross Stretton


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#1 Jane Simpson

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 12:43 AM

Ross Stretton, former director of the Australian Ballet and of the Royal Ballet, died in Melbourne today of melanoma. He had been ill for some time. He was 53.

#2 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:42 AM

Thank you, Jane for the sad news. Such a young man.

#3 Renata

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:47 AM

What a talented young man he was.

#4 Alexandra

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 04:36 AM

ABC News has an obit:

Former Australian Ballet director Stretton dies


A brief obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Ross Stretton dies

One of Australia's best known ballet figures, Ross Stretton, has died in Melbourne from complications following a long battle with cancer. He was 53.

Stretton, who was dancer and a former artistic director of the Australian Ballet, was hospitalised a number of times this year with complications stemming from his treatment for melanoma.



Stretton will be remembered for his brief, stormy tenure as Director of the Royal Ballet, but he was also a star dancer with the Australian Ballet and a principal with ABT. He's shown in the Frederick Wiseman film, "Ballet," during his tenure as ballet master with ABT (and reportedy a very good one).

#5 fandeballet

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 04:40 AM

When he was an assistant to Kevin McKenzie at ABT, he was the nicest man you could have met. I was saddened when he resigned from the Royal Ballet. I am devastated to learn of his death. This has been an especially tough 8 months for me . Mr. Stretton's death from cancer just
reminds me of the terrible losses my family and I have endured so far this year. I also had my own fight with bone cancer. May Mr. Stretton rest in peace. I am thinking of his loved ones now. And praying for them.

#6 mbjerk

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 05:11 AM

A warm and tremendous friend was Ross. Giving artist with a wonderful sense of humor and the ablity to make others better. Perhaps fondest memories are of class at Maggie's and breakfast afterwards.....

Does anyone have an address where condolences may be sent? Please pm or email me -

#7 redbookish

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 09:22 AM

I remember seeing Ross Stretton during his time in the Australian Ballet in the late 70s & 80s, and particularly his extraordinary and heroic dancing in their production of Spartacus. Such sad, sad news.

#8 Natalia

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 09:35 AM

How sad. So young, too. May he rest in peace.

#9 Giannina

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:32 AM

That is such sad news. I remember him fondly from his days with ABT; he was immediately recognizable and a joy to watch. I followed his stormy post-ABT career with a sense of frustration for him.

Giannina

#10 Paul Parish

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:15 PM

I saw him dance only once -- as the cavalier in Ballet Imperial I guess Baryshnikov's first season as director -- what a beautiful company that was, and he was creme de la creme. It was a glorious performance -- noble, elegant, easy -- double cabrioles so delicate, like eyelashes batting.

#11 redbookish

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:29 PM

Ballet.co.UK has a thread of obituaries and photographs.

#12 carbro

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:48 PM

He got Gelsey through some pretty scary Sleeping Beauty Act III pdds in the last months of her ABT career.

#13 Alexandra

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 05:34 AM

Is anyone but me a bit stunned by the obituary in the Telegraph? (It's in today's Links.) I've seen kinder obits of drug kingpins. Is an obituary the place to detail, blow by blow, its subject's greatest failure?

#14 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 05:36 AM

Mean spirited and disgraceful.

#15 Mashinka

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Posted 17 June 2005 - 06:23 AM

Whoever wrote that obituary in the Telegraph doesn't even have the guts to put their name to the piece. Yes, I agree it's disgraceful.

As a Londoner I had mixed feelings about Ross Stretton as I wasn't too happy about some of his rep decisions, though it was a stroke of genius on his part to acquire "Eugene Onegin" for the company. On the other hand he was quick to note the company's shortcomings and start to tackle the serious drop in dancing standards which are sadly still all too prevalent today.

To say that he didn't have the backing of the dancers is only true in part, as he did win support from a number of them. The allegations of improper behaviour with female dancers were probably not true, and the anonymous obit. writer is way out of line repeating these calumnies.

From what I have heard from an RB insider, Ross Stretton was more sinned against than sinning and it will be interesting to know if now that he has sadly passed away, more information about what was the ugliest period in the Royal Ballet's history will come to light.


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