Ballerina and teacher Lucette Aldous dies aged 82

Lucette Aldous, one of the world’s most celebrated ballerinas who went on to become a teacher to generations of dancers, has died aged 82.

Aldous made her mark as one of the stars of the Australian Ballet in their early days, touring the country performing her signature role of Kitri in Don Quixote. In 1970 she resumed a professional partnership with Rudolph Nureyev, which was captured in the 1973 film of Don Quixote.

The film version of the ballet was shot over five long weeks in a aircraft hangar over the summer on 1973 and was directed by Sir Robert Helpmann.

In 1982, alongside her husband Alan Alder, Aldous joined the teaching staff at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she instructed generations of young dancers.

She was born in New Zealand, but moved to Perth as a child. In 1955 she received a scholarship to attend the Royal Ballet School in London.

Aldous began her professional career in 1957 at Britain’s oldest dance company, Ballet Rambert. During her time with the company she performed many major roles including Mazurka in Les Sylphides, and Kitri in Don Quixote. While she was with the company, they also made a ground-breaking tour of China.

She went on to be a member of the London Festival Ballet and the Royal Ballet. Aldous first performed with Nureyev at the Royal Ballet partnering with him for a production of The Nutcracker. 

In 1970 she joined the Australian Ballet as a guest artist and was later appointed resident principal dancer. She was regularly partnered with Kelvin Coe, and the company toured the USA performing in Sam Diego, St Louis, Chicago and New York.

Lucette Aldous received an award from services to dance in 2001 at the Australian Dance Awards, an Honourary Doctorate of Letters from Edith Cowan University in 1999, and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2018.

In 2010 she choregraphed the West Australian Ballet’s production of Don Quixote, it was re-staged in 2017. Today the West Australian Ballet paid tribute saying many in the dance community were touched by Lucette’s great influence and passion.

Alder passed away in 2019, Aldous is survived by their daughter Floeur who is also a respected dancer and choreographer.

OIP Staff

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