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Romeo died. The world has lost dancer Richard Cragun

The bedroom pas de deux from John Cranko’s “Romeo and Juliet” danced by the creators Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun. Music by Prokofiev. Stuttgart Ballet in the 1970’s.

Richard Cragun (5 October 1944 – 6 August 2012) was one of the most influential Dancers of the twentieth century.

Cragun was born in Sacramento (California), United States. He studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada, the Royal Ballet School and Vera Volkova in Copenhagen. His artistic development is closely associated with John Cranko who engaged him in 1962 for the Stuttgart Ballet. In Cranko’s choreography – for example Romeo and Juliet, Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew – he became world famous. He also forged a successful partnership with the ballerina Marcia Haydee. Even after Cranko’s death he remained at the Stuttgart Ballet to end his dancing career in 1996. There, and in his many guest appearances around the world, he worked with several choreographers who have significantly influenced the development of dance. He danced in works choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan, John Neumeier, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe and Maurice Bejart.

From 1996 to 1999 he was ballet director at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He left Berlin in 1999 to start a new ballet company in the Brazilian city of Curitiba and at the Teatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro together with his partner Roberto de Oliveira. Cragun was also a noted cartoonist, who mounted several exhibitions of his work. Cragun died in Rio de Janeiro, aged 67.

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