Harry Haythorne, 1926-2014: An inspiring life in dance

Harry Haythorne, the former assistant artistic director of the Scottish Ballet and artistic director of both the Queensland Ballet and Royal New Zealand Ballet died today.

Born in Adelaide in 1926, he was inspired by the visit to Australia of Ballet Rambert in 1947/48 and travelled to the United Kingdom to train with Anna Northcote, Stansilaw Idzikowski and Audrey de Vos.

He danced in musicals and with the Metropolitan Ballet, the International Ballet and Walter Gore’s London Ballet.

In 1975 he was appointed artistic director of the Queensland Ballet and from 1981 to 1992, was artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

In 1993 he was awarded an MBE for his services to dance.

Hawthorne continued to perform character roles in Australia in Stanton Welch’s Cinderella, Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow and Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker, Tivoli and Swan Lake.

His most memorable final performances were his roller skating solo in Tivoli and his fussy yet adorable interpretation of the Edwardian era photographer in Murphy’s Act I of Swan Lake.