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Wednesday, 1 May, 2002, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Princess Diana ballet to be staged
Princess Diana
Princess Diana was patron of the English National Ballet
A former artistic director of the English National Ballet has created a ballet based on the life of Princess Diana.

Peter Schaufuss, also a former star of the New York City and Bolshoi ballets, has created the show, called Diana - the Princess, for his Danish company.

Princess Diana - the musical
A musical about the princess was staged in Germany
UK ballerina Zara Deakin will play the role of the princess in the production, which will tour Denmark in the autumn.

Schaufuss was one of the most celebrated figures on the world ballet scene between the 1970s and 1990s, but also attracted controversy.

He has refused to reveal many details of his new show, but has said he is hoping to get a UK pop group to provide the music.

He would not reveal which band he was talking to.

The ballet will be performed by the Peter Schaufuss Ballet, which was formed in 1997.

It will get its première in the Danish town of Aarhus, 125 miles north-west of Copenhagen, on 14 September, before going on a national tour.

Success story

Schaufuss has said more details will be announced in the summer.

He began his career as a dancer, before taking over the London Festival Ballet in 1986.

He led it through its transformation into the English National Ballet (ENB), which has been described as one of the UK's great arts success stories of the 1980s.

Princess Diana was patron of the ENB, and first met Schaufuss in 1986, he says.

Elvis ballet

He has also headed the Berlin Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet.

But unconventional interpretations of classics have led to controversy.

Since setting up the Peter Schaufuss Ballet, he has also staged productions based on Elvis Presley and the Beatles.

The Princess Diana ballet will follow musicals and operas based on her life in Germany and New York.

See also:

12 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Germany stages Diana opera
27 Aug 98 | Entertainment
New York stages Diana musical
17 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Ballet's 50th birthday gala
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