Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: William “Bill” Martin-Viscount (1940-2012)

Dancer, choreographer.

Born at Libau on 29 September 1940, son of Dymtro and Pearl Martin, he took dance lessons in Selkirk at age 11 and, two years later, he received a scholarship to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to study with Arnold Spohr. He subsequently studied at London, Denmark, and Russia.

He performed for 11 years as principal dancer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He performed with London’s Festival Ballet and he also performed with New York City’s Joffrey Ballet as principal dancer in 1969-1970. He toured Japan, Australia and New Zealand before forming a professional school in 1972, the Southwest Ballet Center and its performing company The Fort Worth City Ballet. In 1979, he was the first Western choreographer invited by the Chinese Ministry of Culture to stage several productions in China.

He died at Winnipeg on 8 January 2012.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 January 2012.

“Manitoba ballet dancer performed in China,” Winnipeg Free Press, 16 January 2012, page B3.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 December 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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