Return to "Meet the Artists"

Mignon Furman
Mignon Furman

Mignon Furman started her ballet career in South Africa where she danced with the University of Cape Town Ballet Company in ballets such as Les Sylphides, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Prince Igor, and other classics. She studied ballet in London, England, with Anna Northcote (Severskaya) and modern dance with Sigurd Leeder. On her return to Cape Town, she started her own ballet school with one student; it soon grew to be one of the largest ballet schools in South Africa, with a staff of 10 and more than 600 students. She founded both the Cape Town Ballet and the Port Elizabeth Youth Ballet.

She served as senior lecturer and acting director at the University of Cape Town Ballet School. Her excellence as an instructor and also a teacher trainer was recognized when she was nominated for the Distinguished Teacher Award out of the University’s entire academic faculty of 1,200 lecturers and professors.

Furman also founded and directed the University of Cape Town Youth Ballet, taught and choreographed in London, Tel Aviv, Paris, and Cannes, and served for four years as administrator of the Royal Academy of Dance USA in the early ’90s.

At her own American Academy of Ballet she ran a highly-respected summer intensive program for pre-professional dancers, and also created the Performance Awards, a program used by ballet programs around the world for recognizing students’ accomplishments. Mignon Furman passed away on December 4, 2012.