Maude Lloyd, Critic and Dancer of Ashton and Tudor Ballets, Dies

Classic Arts News   Maude Lloyd, Critic and Dancer of Ashton and Tudor Ballets, Dies
 
Dancer and critic Maude Lloyd died on Saturday, November 27, the London Telegraph reports. She was 96.

The South African-born Lloyd studied with Marie Rambert in London, and was one of the founding members of Rambert's Ballet Club in 1927.

The Ballet Club eventually became Ballet Rambert, the home of such young choreographers as Frederick Ashton and Antony Tudor. Lloyd was lifelong friends with Ashton, and danced in many of his works, but she was Tudor's muse. He created the leads in Jardin aux lilas and Dark Elegies for her, and took her with him when he left Rambert to establish the London Ballet.

At the beginning of World War II, Tudor left for New York, and Lloyd went into the Red Cross. After the war, she and her husband, the art critic Nigel Gosling, began writing about dance under the pseudonym Alexander Bland for Ballet Magazine and the Observer, which they continued to do until Gosling died in 1982.

Lloyd and Gosling also published, in the guise of Alexander Bland, a number of books about dance, including a collection of reviews, called Observer of the Dance, in 1985.

The husband and wife team were among the first to be impressed with the 1961 performance in Paris of the young Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who was touring with the Kirov Ballet. Bland wrote that the dancer was "a balletic missile, a wild animal loose in the drawing room." After Nureyev's defection a few days later, Lloyd and Gosling got the first British interview with him, and let him live with them in London. Lloyd remained close to Nureyev until his death in 1993.

Lloyd stopped writing after her husband died, but continued to be a source for other writers' biographies of Nureyev, Ashton, and Tudor, as well as books about the 1930s era of ballet.

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