At the end of the Second World War, Nina Timoshenko, John McFall's mother, married an American soldier. Nina and her husband settled in Kansas-City, Missouri. A Russian ballet teacher, Tatyana Dokudovskaya, was invited to teach at the Kansas-City Conservatoire. Wishing to talk to someone in Russian, Nina with her elder son John, went to a rehearsal of Swan Lake which Dokudovskaya was producing for her students. This introduction to the world of dance fired the eleven-year-old boyÒs imagination and started him off on his theatrical career.
John started to dance professionally at the age of sixteen in productions of the popular Broadway musicals My Fair Lady and The Musician at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas-City. After this season, John joined the San-Francisco Ballet Company where, for the next twenty years, he showed his talent as a dancer and producer. He danced in the ballets of Lew Christensen, Michael Smuin, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, John Butler, John Cranko, and others.
After John McFall had created his first duet, Teoli, he was invited to stage ballets by:"he National Ballet of Canada, the Harlem Theatre of Dance, The Hobbard-Street Dance Group, San-Francisco Opera, The Atlanta Ballet, The Auckland Ballet, Seattle Opera, The Houston Ballet, the San-Francisco Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. He has produced ballets for Cynthia Gregory, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Fernando Bukhones.
His wish to become a choreographer motivated John McFall to take charge of a ballet company. In 1987, he became leder of the Met Company in Columbus, Ohio. Under his leadership, the artistic stature of this very young company underwent a significant development. It presented dozens of new works. Within three years there had been a threefold increase in its budget and audiences. A new theatre and school were built. As a result of this success John McFall became known in the ballet world and he was invited to take up the post of director of Atlanta Ballet.
He joined this company in 1994 since when he has been its Artistic and General Director. Under his leadership the companyÒs budget rose to six million dollars and in August, 1996, McFall opened the Atlanta Ballet Centre to teach dance.
John McFall has dedicated his life to the propaganda of dance: his aim is to attract as large an audience as possible into the theatre.