Howard, Andrée (1910–1968) By Jones, Susan
Andrée Howard belonged to a group of British choreographers, including Frederick Ashton and Antony Tudor, who began their careers with the Polish-born Marie Rambert in London. As a choreographer Howard worked predominantly within a ballet idiom, but she extended and exploited this to develop the potential for dramatic expression in the medium of modern ballet. Her versatile approaches to genre included the use of abstract and narrative forms and a witty penchant for comedy; her styles ranged from lyrical and poetic to strikingly theatrical. During the 1930s and 1940s, Howard danced with, and created many ballets for, Rambert’s Ballet Club and the Ballet Rambert Company. She found artistic collaboration within the intimate atmosphere of a small group, and her best choreography is represented by ‘‘chamber’’ ballets created among individuals familiar with her working methods. As a talented visual artist, she frequently designed the sets and costumes for her ballets. Her major choreographic innovations belonged to the field of narrative ballet, where her focus on psychological expression was often inspired by literary text, as in Lady into Fox (1939) and La Fête étrange (The Strange Celebration) (1940), although she did not exclusively work in this medium. She also produced pure dance works throughout her career, including Assembly Ball (1946) and Veneziana (1953) for Sadler’s Wells Ballet.