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University donation to theatre

The University of St Andrews is to donate £8,000 to the Byre Theatre next week (Tuesday 11 July 2000), thanks to the legacy of a world-renowned choreographer.

Antony Tudor, who received a Doctorate of Letters from the University in 1970, was one of the greatest choreographers of the last century.

Born in 1908, Tudor started studying dance with Marie Rambert in 1928, taking classes in his spare time after working in an accountant’s office. By 1930, he was employed by Marie Rambert as stage manager and secretary to the Ballet Club and was regularly appearing on stage with the Marie Rambert dancers.

From the start of his career, Tudor was specific in his ambition, wishing to focus on choreography rather than performance. Choreographing his first ballet in 1931, he went on to create several more ballets including Jardin aux lilas in 1936. Marking the first appearance of one of the most innovative features of Tudor’s work, the use of movement to display his characters’ states of mind, the ballet was regarded as a milestone in British ballet. Tudor died in New York in April 1987.

Following the donation by the University from the Tudor Fund, a liaison group is being established to explore possible areas of collaboration between the University and the new Byre. Students make up almost one third of the St Andrews population during the academic year and produce many plays and musicals of their own. In particular, because the stage is sprung, the Byre will offer completely new opportunities to those with an interest in dance, making this an appropriate use of the Tudor legacy.

Acting Principal of the University Professor Colin Vincent said, “The University of St Andrews is delighted to be associated with the renaissance of the Byre Theatre. We are very anxious to collaborate with the Theatre in order to provide new and improved opportunities for our students, but also to support the Byre management in their efforts to make St Andrews a significant centre for drama in Scotland.”

Meanwhile, the donation has been warmly welcomed by the Byre Theatre.

Appeal Director Rebecca McSherry said, “I am delighted that the University of St Andrews have agreed to support the Byre Theatre Appeal in this way. Thanks to the generosity of the University alongside that of many other individuals, companies, organisations and trusts, the completion of the new Byre Theatre is fast becoming a reality. We look forward to developing our past relationship with student drama groups. In particular, we hope to share the skills of our technical and professional staff with students and to allow full access to state of the art theatre facilities that have never previously been available in St Andrews.”

NOTE TO EDITORS – You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the temporary office of the Byre Theatre at 36 South Street, St Andrews (opposite Jannettas) at 10.30am on Tuesday 11 July 2000 when Acting Principal of the University of St Andrews Professor Colin Vincent will present the cheque to Appeal Director Rebecca McSherry.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or Damon Rhind on 01382 562883 or 07730 415 016 Ref: byre/standrews/chg/5july2000

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