Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The real Billy Elliot?

Embed from Getty Images

With the fact that today has been World Ballet Day, I thought of this photograph.

Does it show the real Billy Elliot?

It is captioned:
June 1958: 12 year old John Ryder and his friend Trevor Briscoe play in a back garden in the coal mining area of Amthorpe, near Doncaster. Surprisingly, miner's son John wants to be a ballet dancer and shows guts as well as ballet talent, fighting any local boys who call him 'sissy'. He has also joined the school boxing team to prove it. 
Before you laugh or protest too loudly at the attitudes of the 1950, have a look at what I once wrote about the film Billy Elliot.

I complained of its "ludicrous sexual politics" and complained:
In order to show he is not gay Billy has to have a best friend who is not only gay but looks and dresses like a girl.


Anonymous said...

John Ryder won a scholarship to attend the Royal Ballet School at White Lodge in the 1950s.

He graduated to become a member of the Royal Ballet company from the early 1960s, touring the world and dancing alongside Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn amongst others.

Tragically, in 1973 and aged just 28, he lost his life through the actions of a hit and run driver in Shepherds Bush, London.

Jonathan Calder said...

Thanks for the information. That's so sad.