A PAGE IN HISTORY
Died: 1978, London, Ontario
Birth Name: Marion Stark
Married Name: Marion Stark Graham
Second Married Name: Marion Errington
Over a period of sixty years, Marion Errington contributed to the cultural scene of London, Ontario as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and artistic director. Beginning with Scottish dancing lessons at age thirteen and later summer dance courses in the United States, Errington soon began to teach and, by 1923, was holding annual recitals. When she married in 1926, she and her husband moved to Florida where she continued to operate her school long distance while also performing for the Publix theatre chain circuit. She returned to London in 1928 and within a decade her school had grown to 250 students and included weekly classes in London, Woodstock, St. Thomas and Ingersoll. In 1938, Errington was approached by the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music to design a ballet syllabus aimed at the once-a-week student. She based her syllabus on several schools of ballet but primarily on the Cecchetti method; called the Western Ontario Conservatory of Ballet, examinations continue to be held. The following year was highly significant for Errington as it saw the debut of her London Ballet Company and the start of her work as an artistic director. This debut presentation included the dancing of Richard Errington who soon became an instructor and the manager of the school. The two were married in 1947 and the company that they ran together became the Errington Ballet Theatre. This company was granted a civic charter by the City of London in 1948 becoming the London Civic Ballet Theatre; it performed throughout Southwestern Ontario until 1954. Errington founded the Western Ontario Branch of the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association in 1952 acting as its president for nearly a decade. Errington’s school continued to be run by her daughter-in-law, Liliane Marleau Graham until 2015. Its 98 year history makes it the longest continuously run dance school in Canada.
- newspaper and magazine clippings, choreographic notes, photographs, musical scores, newsletters, house programmes, correspondence
- Neil McKay’s original musical score for Dude Ranch
- extensive collection of reviews and house programmes for London Civic Ballet Theatre performances
- newspaper clippings related to dancers Glenna Jones, Liliane Marleau, Colleen Kenney, Virginia Pell and Carol Morley
- photocopies of house programmes and newspaper clippings from the D.B. Weldon Library Special Collections, University of Western Ontario and the London Public Library Special Collections regarding companies touring to London
- Liliane Marleau Graham, Joey Harris, Glenna Jones, Cathy Cave and Pauline Gailbraith MacFabe, Harry Keene (total of 8 hours, interviews conducted by Amy Bowring)
- Bowring, Amy. 2000. In Susan Macpherson, ed. Encyclopedia of Theatre Dance in Canada/Encyclopédie de la Danse Théâtrale au Canada. Toronto: Dance Collection Danse Press/es. ISBN: 0-929003-42-X
- Bowring, Amy. 2004. “Marion Stark Errington: From Kilts to Companies in London, Ontario.” In Selma Landen Odom and Mary Jane Warner, eds. Canadian Dance: Visions and Stories. Toronto: Dance Collection Danse Press/es. ISBN: 0-929003-46-2
- The London Ballet Company, Errington Ballet Theatre, London Civic Ballet Theatre (title, choreographer, composer)
- Cleopatra (1939), Marion Stark Graham and Richardson Errington, Grunewald and Luigini
- Rhapsody (1940), Marion Stark Graham and Richard Errington, Liszt, Schubert, Moszkowski and Hollanders
- Les Sylphides (1948), staged by Leon Danelian after Fokine, additional choreography by Marion Errington, Chopin
- Mardi Gras (1948), Marion Errington, Dvorak, Scharwenka, Monti, Behr and Lehár
- Dude Ranch (1949), Marion and Richard Errington, Neil McKay (original score)
- Swan Lake (c. 1950), Marion Errington after Petipa and Ivanov, Tchaikovsky
- Pas de Trois Classique (1954), Joey Harris, Tchaikovsky
- Le Carnaval (1954), staged [possibly by Joey Harris] after Fokine, Schumann
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