As a young man, Tudor aspired to travel the world. Acting was the obvious career path, but he
lacked the requisite voice. Dancers lived a similar lifestyle, but he knew his late start would always prevent
his becoming a great dancer. Thus, according to Tudor, choreographer was the only viable position left. Anyone
who knew Tudor (or saw his amazing work) clearly understood and recognized his passion for choreography, no matter
how he came to his profession. Whatever his motivations may have been, Tudor more than accomplished his goal of
becoming a world traveler.
Tudor in Tokyo at rehearsal, 1965.
Tudor taught at Jacobís Pillow for the last time in 1953 where he worked with the recently founded
National Ballet of Canada (whose founder and featured ballerina was another former Rambert dancer and future répétiteur,
Celia Franca) who had already staged several of his ballets in Toronto. His importance to the development of the
festival remains strong today as the organization hosted a ďPillow TalkĒ in which his contributions to dance were
After the success of Offenbach in the Underworld in Philadelphia, Tudor traveled to Japan for the first time in 1954 and restaged it for the Komaki Ballet. Tudor had an affinity for the Asian culture even before he became a Zen Buddhist in the 1960ís, so the connection was a natural one. In Tokyo he taught classes and staged two of his ballets with an exciting new protégé, Yasuki Sasa . He later returned to Japan to teach in the 1960ís and became very involved in the training and development of Japanese ballet dancers.
While on a tour of South America with Ballet Theatre, Tudor was invited to choreograph a piece for Teatro Colon. He created Pas de Trois in Buenos Ares, Argentina in 1958. Unfortunately, this ballet remains lost today.
Excluding his brief visits to London (in 1946, 1952 and 1963 for various performances and tributes) Tudor didnít return to England for an extended period until 1967 when he accepted an offer to produce a new work for Englandís Royal Ballet. The result was Shadowplay, which marked the successful return of the native son. He followed that up 1968 with Knight Errant for the Royal Ballet Touring Company and staged Echoing of Trumpets for the London Festival Ballet in 1971.
Adding another continent to his passport Tudor accepted an invitation from another adoring former Ballet Rambert student, Peggy van Praagh, director of the Australian Ballet. In 1969 Tudor choreographed Divine Horseman and also restaged Pillar of Fire.
Tudor continued his love affair with travel with sojourns to Israel, France, Germany, Holland, Finland, New Zealand and Greece for business and pleasure. It turned out Tudor didnít need to become a famous actor or dancer to see the world. If travel was an indulgence for Tudor, the ballet community was happy to oblige as his influence still crosses international borders to this day.
Adapted with permission from Undimmed Lustre by