Born: 1904, Toronto
Died: 1989, Toronto

Jean Macpherson studied dance in Toronto in the early 1900’s. She subsequently trained with Charlotta Zambelli at the Paris Opera Ballet, and with George Balanchine and Mikhail Fokine in New York. In 1927 she established a school in Toronto where she taught classical ballet and interpretive dance. A charismatic dancer, she choreographed and performed numerous solo concerts both in England and in Canada. She was invited by Leopold Stokowski to perform with the Philadelphia Symphony. For several years Miss Macpherson taught classes at Casa Loma and in the 1950’s she operated a school in Hudson, Quebec. Many of her students established professional careers in both ballet and modern dance. In May 1986, Jean Macpherson was inducted into the ENCORE! ENCORE! Dance Hall of Fame.


  • photographs, magazine and newspaper clippings, photo negatives, correspondence, brochures, playbill, notebook’


  • original oil painting, by unidentified artist, of Macpherson teaching young students at the Halyconian Club, Toronto
  • original notebook containing choreographic notes for recital dances, 1952
  • original brochure titled “Between School and The World or ‘Her Year Abroad'” describing services offered by Jean Macpherson to young women travelling or attending finishing schools in London, England
  • original magazine article from an unknown publication, titled “Toronto High Noon Gossip”, provides an account of one of Jean Macpherson’s school recitals at the Eaton Auditorium
  • original magazine article (torn), “Modern Ballet in the Making: Dancers Learning the Graces of Their Profession”, June 19, 1937, The Illustrated London News. Provides reproductions of painted images and drawings by J. Simont of dancers at the Paris Opera including Charlotta Zambelli.
  • original magazine, spring 1954 issue of The Heartland, which includes the article “Washington Welcomes The Royal Winnipeg Ballet” featuring several photographs of RWB dancers
  • 4″x5″ photographic negative and 8″x10″ print of Charles Aylett’s portrait of Jean Macpherson posing in attitude, as well as additional photographs of Macpherson by Aylett



Miriam Adams, C.M.

Amy Bowring
Executive and Curatorial Director

Jay Rankin
Administrative Director

Vickie Fagan
Director of Development and Producer/Hall of Fame

Elisabeth Kelly
Archives and Programming Coordinator

Michael Ripley
Marketing & Sales Coordinator


1303 – 2 Carlton St.
Toronto, ON
M5B 1J3
Phone: 416-365-3233
Fax: 416-365-3169
info [AT]


Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Appointment Required
Contact our team by email or call one of the numbers above

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