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Born in Ecuador, Ashton attended an Anna Pavlova performance at the age of 13. The choreography captured him so powerfully, he was convinced from that day forward that he too would grow up to be an influential dancer. He moved to England in 1919, where he became a student at Dover College, which prepared him for his first choreography attempt in 1926. It was a wild success, and he went on to become a resident choreographer of The Royal Ballet during the 1930s.

While Ashton’s name is not nearly as recognizable as Pavlova’s or Baryshnikov’s, he is responsible for the timeless ballet adaptation of Cinderella, and was known to dance the role of one of the ugly stepsisters on more than one occasion. Frederick Ashton was knighted for his tremendous contributions, and he passed away in his England home in 1988.

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