An exhibition of Alan Carter's Choreographics paintings will be held

at TheARTHouseGallery in Bournemouth

from 7th to 25th July 2010


Alan Carter was born in London in 1920 and began his professional career at an early age as a dancer in the Vic-Wells Ballet (later the Sadler's Wells Ballet, now the Royal Ballet). In 1938 Sir Frederick Ashton created for Alan his first leading role in 'Harlequin in the Street'. In his book Sir Ashton is quoted as saying “Alan Carter played Harlequin: even at that age, he was an unusually brilliant technician,” and Ashton made full use of his ability to jump, turn and beat.


Alan Carter as Harlequin in 'Harlequin in the Street', 1938


Alan continued to dance many roles until he was called up for war service in the RAF 1941 – 46. He returned to the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet as principal dancer and choreographed his first ballet 'The Catch'.


Brisé Simple



Alan was Ballet Master and dancer for the film 'The Red Shoes' with Moira Shearer and later formed, directed, choreographed and danced in the St James's Ballet for the Arts Council of Great Britain. In the early fifties he was Ballet Master for the films 'The Tales of Hoffmann', 'Invitation to the Dance' with Gene Kelly, and choreographed 'The Man who loved Redheads'. He also had the position of ballet master and choreographer at the Empire Cinema, London, and choreographed dances for the London Palladium Show with Norman Wisdom.


3 Contemporary Dancers


1954 – 59 Alan was Ballet Director of the Munich Staatsoper, Germany, where he first started drawing and painting dance movements. Later he guest choreographed in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv.

1961 – 63 As Guest Professor of Classical Dance, Alan choreographed for the Royal Ballet in London and was also Guest Choreographer for the Norwegian Ballet in Oslo.


Contemporary Dance Sequence

3 Dancers

1964 – 75 Ballet Director and Choreographer in Wuppertal, Bordeaux, Istanbul, Helsinki, Reykjavik and Tehran.

1975 – 77 Artistic Director at Elmhurst Residential Ballet School, currently part of Birmingham Royal Ballet.


Posé pirouette en attitude cambrai

Tour en l'air cambrai

1977 – 2009 Alan lived in Bournemouth with his wife, Julia. Together they directed their own ballet school for many years. His activities included productions of 'Coppélia', 'Sleeping Beauty' and 'The Planets and Seasons' for the Bournemouth Ballet Club. He was also choreographer and director of the musicals 'My Fair Lady' and 'Annie Get Your Gun' for the Bournemouth & Boscombe Light Opera Company (BBLOC).


Pirouette Study

Grand jeté allongée


Entrechat 5 with demi-tour

Coupé grand sauté


On 30th June 2009 Alan passed away peacefully at home after a long fight against cancer.


Four Dancers


From 1954 until his death in 2009, Alan's passion for drawing and painting never diminished – he was also an accomplished pianist, composer and writer.


Earth Dancers



"One Man Show" painting exhibitions include:

1961             Hofgarten Theatre Art Museum, Munich, Germany

1967             Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, Germany

1972-73        Sadler's Wells Theatre, London (opened by Dame Beryl Grey)

1973             Oslo Opera House, Norway

1975             Reykjavik State Theatre, Iceland

1981             Sadler's Wells Theatre, London

1988             Poole Arts Centre, Bournemouth

1994             Fountain Fine Art Gallery, Llandeilo, Wales

2003             Casa de Cultura, Calpe, Spain

2004             Studio 5, Javea, Spain


Posé pirouette en dedans

Pirouette tire bouchon


A number of Alan Carter's pictures are in private collections, in theatres in various parts of Europe, in two state galleries in Germany and one in Spain.

Pas de deux

Grand jeté en attitude

Dancers in spotlight

Skating Dance


Dawn Dancers

Twilight Dancers


Alan Carter at work in his studio (1991)



 If you have any queries, please contact Julia Carter at