Russian ballet legend Prokovsky dies

Prokovsky passed away on Saturday (15Aug09) near Beausoleil, the village in the south of France where he lived.

The cause of death was cancer, according to his agent Mark Kappel.

Prokovsky was a former principal dancer for esteemed companies including the London Festival Ballet, the Grand Ballet of the Marquis de Cuevas and the New York City Ballet – where he created roles in dance pioneer George Balanchine’s Pas de Deux and Divertissement and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet.

In 1962 he formed the New London Ballet with ex-wife Galina Samsova, which toured through Europe, Asia, South America and parts of the United States before it disbanded in 1977.

He served as ballet director of Italy’s Rome Opera House in 1977 and 1978, and then pursued a career as a freelance choreographer, staging shows for ballet companies around the world.

Prokovsky is survived by his wife, Elvire, and a son, Alexandre.