Antony Tudor, one of the giants of twentieth century choreography, began dancing professionally with Ballet Rambert in London. All of his early ballets, Cross garter’d (1931), Lysistrata (1932), and The Planets (1934) were created for that company.
In 1939 he was invited by Ballet Theatre to join its first season and to restage three of the works he was known for in London Jardin aux Lilas, Dark Elegies, and Judgment of Paris. Since that time, Tudor has been represented in every American Ballet Theatre season. Gala Performance was added to the repertory in 194l, Pillar of Fire in 1942, Romeo and Juliet and Dim Lustre in 1943, Undertow in 1945, Shadow of the Wind in 1948, Nimbus in 1950, The Leaves Are Fading and Shadowplay in 1975, The Tiller in the Fields in 1979 and Little Improvisations in 1980.
Tudor performed in many of his own ballets as well as in works of other choreographers. In 1950, Tudor gave up performing to become head of faculty of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School. He choreographed Offenbach in the Underworld in 1955 and set it for American Ballet Theatre the following year. In 1963, he choreographed Echoing of Trumpets for the Royal Swedish Ballet; it was staged for American Ballet Theatre in 1967.
In 1986, Tudor was a recipient of the Capezio Award, and in May 1986, with the Handel Medallion, New York City’s highest cultural honor. In December of the same year he was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor.
In 1951, Tudor joined the Juilliard School’s Dance Division as a founding faculty member, a position he held until 1971. He was appointed Associate Director of ABT in 1974 in which capacity he served until his appointment as Choreographer Emeritus in 1980. He was Choreographer Emeritus until his death in 1987.