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Former Royal Ballet Principal Johaar Mosaval, one of the first black dancers to join the Royal Ballet School has sadly passed away.

Johaar danced with John Field's Touring Company and with the New Group, two important precursors of Birmingham Royal Ballet, in addition to his time with the Royal Ballet.

Former Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet Principal Margaret Barbieri paid tribute to Johaar:

“Such very sad news, it is heartbreaking that Johaar Mosaval is no longer with us. He was an amazing man, a great dancer and artist, and later became an inspiring teacher to so many young dancers.

It is not so long ago that Johaar and I spoke on the phone, reminiscing about The Royal Ballet Touring Company and the happy years we spent in it. I loved sharing the stage with Johaar and I remember being mesmerized by his moving performances of Bootface in Cranko’s The Lady and The Fool and Jasper in Pineapple Poll, and of course not forgetting his cheeky Puck in The Dream and his little Gypsy in The Two Pigeons. I also have vivid memories of Johaar and Birdie (Brenda Last) in the Tarantella in Swan Lake Act 3, where their spectacular and fiendishly fast performances would bring the house down! What a hard act to follow!

On a few occasions, I shared “digs” on tour with Johaar, who was always a perfect gentleman. He led his life just as he did as a dancer, with discipline, dedication and with humility.

It was a very sad day bidding Johaar farewell at Southampton Docks when he was returning to South Africa. Although smiling in the photo, many tears were shed by us all, but we all knew that he was happy to be going home.

Johaar was a beautiful soul and a legend. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and everyone in the Dance World. RIP dear Friend.”

Watch the below interview conducted by the University of Cape Town for a fascinating and insightful look into the incredible life and career of Johaar Mosaval.

Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

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