John Field; Former Director of Royal Ballet
John Field, 69, a former director of the Royal Ballet and Sadler’s Wells Theater Ballet companies. Field, who also served as ballet director at La Scala, studied dancing in Liverpool and made his first appearances at age 17 with the Liverpool Ballet Club. At age 18 he joined the Sadler’s Wells Ballet in London and took part in its first wartime tour before joining the Royal Air Force in 1942. After the war, he rejoined Sadler’s Wells and became one of its principal dancers, partnering Margot Fonteyn and Beryl Grey. In 1956, Field was appointed artistic director of the Sadler’s Wells Theater Ballet, the second company of the Sadler’s Wells. Months later Sadler’s Wells became the Royal Ballet, based at Covent Garden, with Field as assistant director. In 1970, when Royal Ballet director Sir Frederick Ashton retired, Field was named co-director with Kenneth MacMillan. But Field left the post within a year, apparently in confusion over the roles of the two directors. From 1971 to 1974 he served as ballet director at La Scala in Milan, Italy. He then became artistic director of the Royal Academy of Dancing and of the London Festival Ballet. In 1984, he retired and became artistic director of the British Ballet Organization. In London on Saturday of cancer.
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