Ballet dancer

Famous ballet dancer and instructor Henry Danton dies at 102

PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) – Earlier this month, former ballet star, instructor and Petal resident Henry Danton died.

According to an obituary from Moore Funeral Service websiteHenry Danton, born Henry David Boileau Down, died peacefully at his home on February 9. He was 102 years old.

The site says he was born on March 30, 1919, in Bedford, England. He was the son of Charles Boileau Down and Beatrice Forsyth.

Danton began his dancing career at the age of 21, after being injured in World War II, performing with international dance companies including Sadlers Wells Ballet, which later became the Royal Ballet in England.

Danton’s career has taken him around the world. He has performed with renowned dance companies across the UK, Europe and South America.

His obituary indicates that he founded the National Ballet of Venezuela, danced for Roland Petit’s Ballet de Paris and taught in New York at the Julliard School, Carnegie Hall and the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance as well as in many others. educational institutions.

After an ankle injury, Danton retired as a performer and devoted the rest of his life to teaching ballet, the obituary said.

Around the 1990s, he moved to Mississippi and continued to teach at Belhaven University and the University of Southern Mississippi. He was a resident of Petal at the time of his death

In 2020, the Mississippi Art’s Commission awarded Danton the Governor’s Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance.

The obituary indicates that Danton devoted his life to ballet and passed on his devotion to the art to countless numbers of students.

A Celebration of Life event will be held at Southern Mississippi Ballet Theater March 20 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial endowments and scholarships in Danton’s name have been created.

This story will be updated if more information is provided.

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