He died of AIDS, said Norman Ader, his companion of 25 years.
Mr. Ballard was born in Denver. His full name was Michael Ballard Podolsky, but he eventually dropped the surname. He took his first dance class as a freshman at the University of Colorado in 1960. After enrolling in summer workshops taught by Merce Cunningham, Shirley Ririe and Joan Woodbury, Mr. Ballard decided to major in dance at the University of Utah, where he came into contact with the teaching of Alwin Nikolais.
He left for New York City in 1966 to study and perform with Mr. Nikolais, whose company members also danced with Mr. Louis. Among his best-known parts were the ringmaster in "Hoopla" and the title role in "Scheherazade," both by Mr. Louis.
Mr. Ballard retired from the company in 1983, moving to St. Louis the next year to teach modern dance technique and choreography as an assistant professor at Washington University. He danced and choreographed there for the Washington University Dance Theater, the St. Louis Repertory Dancers and the St. Louis Dancers, for whom he staged Mr. Louis's "Bach Suite" and excerpts from other pieces.
He served on the dance advisory panel of the Missouri Council of the Arts from 1988 to his death. He was the author, with Kitty Cunningham, of "Conversations With a Dancer" (1980).
Conversations With a Dancer by Kitty Cunningham
Hardcover: 177 pages
Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1St Edition edition (October 1980)
Amazon: Conversations With a Dancer
More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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