John Cranko

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John Cranko. (1927-1973) Famous South African born choreographer.

Born in Rustenberg Transvaal in 1927, he worked in South African theatre in a variety of capacities (including back-stage hand on Anna Christie for the Johannesburg REPS in 1942) and at the age of sixteen choreographed his first work for the Cape Town Ballet Club. His first major work was The Soldier’s Tale, also staged by the Cape Town Ballet Club in 1944. At the end of the war he moved to London to become the resident choreographer at Sadler’s Wells Theatre Ballet, where he achieved international fame with Pineapple Poll and subsequent works. In 1960 he was appointed director of the Stuttgart Ballet and worked most of his life in Germany at Württemberg and Stuttgart, hailed as the "Stuttgart Miracle". Among his ballet's there were The Taming of the Shrew (1969).

He died tragically in 1973 at the age of forty six.

For more information

Biographical article written by John Eichbaum, published in Scenaria, 26(209), 1998.


Tucker, 1997.

De Beer, 1995.

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