UCI Dance mourns the passing of Donald Dale Bradburn

Donald Dale Bradburn

June 14, 1940 - July 23, 2020

Renowned dance photographer, dancer, designer and choreographer, Donald Dale Bradburn passed away on July 23 in Cedar City, Utah after an extended illness.

Don's photos captured such dance luminaries as Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Markova, Fonteyn, Peter Martins, and Alicia Alonzo. Hundreds of his photographs appeared in Dance Magazine, where he was the magazine's Southern California correspondent.

Don's work received a special exhibit at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, "Donald Bradburn: Ballet in Los Angeles-A Moment in Time." The show was covered by the LA Times. (www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2001-jul-15-ca-22444-story.html)

Born June 14th, 1940, in the rural farm town of Lindsay, California, Don was only fifteen years old when he first captured the images, with a simple 35mm camera, of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in a one-night only performance in Fresno, California.

Bradburn moved to LA to study ballet under Eugene Loring while studying Theatre and Design at UCLA. Said Bradburn of his early attraction to dance: "…A magical fantasy world existed …that immediately swept a small town country boy off his feet, and into its realm."He went on to become Artistic Director of Fresno Ballet, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of California Ballet Theatre. He was a beloved teacher of choreography and dance history at UC Irvine and Cal Arts and in 1993 was invited to Russia to help found their first university dance program.

As a dancer, Bradburn appeared in more than forty musicals for national, stock and civic light opera companies; in acting-dancing roles in films such as Hello, Dolly!, Sweet Charity, and Funny Girl; on television with Fred Astaire, Goldie Hawn, Diana Ross, Glen Campbell, the Smothers Brothers, and others. He directed and choreographed concerts, opera, films, television, theatre, and nightclubs. He became known for his celebrity headshots and portraits, as well as set and costume designs.

Don had a deep connection to animals, particularly his beloved Bobtail cats. He treasured his trip to China volunteering to care for the baby pandas, and another to India to help at a tiger preserve. He is survived by cousins Robert Martin, Richard Martin, and John Martin, as well as many loving friends, colleagues, students and admirers.

To help preserve Don's legacy, Please direct gifts In Memory of Donald Bradburn to the UCI Libraries Special Collections and Archives at http://bit.ly/BradburnMemorial. Questions about your gift to the UCI Libraries, may be directed to Angelica Simmons at (949) 824-3080 or acsimmo1@uci.edu.

Posted Date: 
September 15, 2020