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Ballet Director Anne Woolliams Dies

July 23, 1999

LONDON (AP) _ British ballet director Anne Woolliams, who was instrumental in establishing the international reputation of Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet, has died at age 72.

She died on July 8 of cancer in Canterbury, Kent, where she had settled in 1995 after retiring as artistic director of ballet at the Vienna State Opera, her husband, choreographer Jan Stripling, said Friday.

Throughout her career she was revered for both her teaching and direction. But she also danced in several films and musicals, including the 1948 film ``Red Shoes.″

Born in 1926 in the English coastal town of Folkestone, near Canterbury, Woolliams trained as a dancer in England and Germany and devoted her career to classical ballet.

She debuted with the Russian Opera and Ballet, and spent several years touring with a small English group, the St. James’s Ballet, before she began teaching.

John Cranko, director of West Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet, invited her to join him in 1963 as the company’s ballet mistress, responsible for classes and rehearsals.

With Cranko, she helped to develop Stuttgart as a major international success and to transform the part-time student classes into the country’s leading ballet school, now called the John Cranko School.

She was artistic director of the Australian Ballet from 1976 to 1978, and then first Dean of Dance at Australia’s Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne until 1987.

Her book on teaching, ``Ballettsaal,″ was published in Germany in 1973 and in English as ``Ballet Studio″ in 1978.

Back in England, Woolliams mostly focused on her other talent, painting.

She is survived by her husband, her brother, James Woolliams, and her sister, Wendy White-Tomson.

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