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Sunday, November 29, 2009


Respected and much-loved dance teacher dies in Pietermaritzburg.

Megan de Beyer, a respected and much-loved dance teacher of the Cecchetti school has died after complications following an operation on an aneurism of the aorta. In her 70’s, she had been battling bravely with ill health for about a year. She is credited as having taught hundreds of pupils over close on 50 years.

An article on artSMart dated June 10, 2001, refers to an award she received that year:

In recognition of her “outstanding contribution to dance” in KZN for over 40 years, the Cecchetti Society of KZN recently paid tribute to well-known Pietermaritzburg dance teacher and choreographer Megan de Beyer. This was extended by a further honour bestowed on her at a performance of “La Fille Mal Gardée” held at the Winston Churchill Theatre on June 2.

Megan de Beyer began formal ballet lessons in Johannesburg at the age of nine. She went on to train at the University of Cape Town’s ballet school with Dulcie Howes, Jasmine Honoré and Pamela Chrimes. When Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin performed in a ballet season in Cape Town, she formed part of the corps de ballet.

It was in Pietermaritzburg that Megan de Beyer learnt the pure Cecchetti method while studying under Nancy Graham, before going on to teach in the Midlands and eventually at her own studio in Chapel Street in Pietermaritzburg. Now retired, she continues to take an active interest in ballet matters.”

Ronel Wood, who partnered Megan de Beyer in the popular Sunset Soiree events in Pietermaritzburg, fondly remembers her as “an incredible person” who had taught hundreds of people to dance and was committed to the professional time-honoured showbiz phrase that “the show must go on”.

Details to follow about a fundraising concert for two of Megan de Beyer’s pupils. The show will be dedicated to her memory.