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Christopher Gable as Lowry waiting for filming

Christopher Gable CBE

Christopher Gable CBE trained at Sadler's Wells Ballet School and went on to dance with Sadler's Wells Opera Ballet, Covent Garden Opera Ballet, Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, and The Royal Ballet in which he was Principal Dancer.

He created many roles for The Royal Ballet. A list of his most well-known work would include Romeo in Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo & Juliet and the male leads in The InvitationThe Two PigeonsJeu de Cartes and House of Birds.

He danced all the major classical roles and partnered all the ballerinas of The Royal Ballet, but it was his association with Lynn Seymour, that developed into one of the most celebrated partnerships in ballet history.

After 10 years at The Royal Opera House, he retired as a dancer in order to pursue an acting career. He has worked extensively on stage and in film and television. He played Lysander in Peter Brook's celebrated production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and worked at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, for several seasons. His television work includes Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, Trofimov in The Cherry Orchard and Eric Fenby in Ken Russell's film on Delius. He worked with Russell again on the film The Boy Friend in which he co-starred with Twiggy, and Russell's film of D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow.

In 1982 he founded the Central School of Ballet, London where he was Artistic Director. He joined Northern Ballet Theatre to play L. S. Lowry in Gillian Lynne's A Simple Man in Spring 1987 and was appointed Artistic Director in July 1987. He was also an Honorary Member of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.

In 1989 Christopher was presented with the award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre, by the Manchester Evening News. The following two years saw the Company receive MEN awards for Best Dance Production of the Year for Giselle and Romeo & Juliet. Remarkably, Christopher's first full-length choreography was for Cinderella which premiered in 1993 and was hailed ' a Cinderella for the 90's'.

In 1996 he was awarded the CBE for services to British Dance, in Her Majesty The Queen's Birthday Honours List.

1997-98 marked Christopher's 10th Anniversary Year as Artistic Director of Northern Ballet Theatre - a year also distinguished by the award of an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, by the University of Bradford.

Christopher Gable died from cancer on October 23rd 1998, in his eleventh year as Artistic Director of Northern Ballet Theatre.

Header photo taken by Richard Farley.