Dame Gillian Lynne (1926-2018) was a dancer, choreographer and director whose imaginative choreography had a huge impact on contemporary musical theatre both in London’s West End and on Broadway, where she worked on over 60 productions. She married twice, the second time to actor/singer Peter Land in 1980. Lynne was born in Bromley in Kent and loved to dance as a child. It was a doctor who suggested she attended dance school, when her mother was concerned about her daughter’s restless behaviour at school. Sadly, Lynne lost her mother in a tragic car accident as a 13-year-old. She began her dancing career at the People’s Palace, aged 16, and was invited to join the Sadler’s Wells Ballet Company by Ninette de Valois. After World War II, she was promoted to solo ballerina within the renamed Royal Ballet company, performing at the Covent Garden Opera House, and later at the London Palladium, the Coliseum and internationally. Robert Helpmann and Frederick Ashton created roles for her in their new ballets.
Back to Authors List