Margaret Cecilia Faust
Margaret Cecilia (“Mar-ce”) Faust passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of January 19, 2023, at her home in Las Vegas, Nevada with family at her bedside.
Margaret was born January 5, 1950 in Evanston, Illinois, the fourth daughter of the late Norman and Margaret Welsh Faust. From the very beginning, her passion was dance; she never walked if she could run, and never ran if she could dance.
She started ballet training with the Studio of Richard Ellis and Christine DuBoulay in Chicago. She continued her studies in ballet at Texas Christian University and the University of Utah, earning her Bachelors and then her Masters of Fine Arts in Ballet. She later danced with Ballet West, Fort Worth Ballet Association, the Fort Worth Opera, the Bodyworks Dance Ensemble, Northern Dance Theatre, and Salt Creek Ballet.
Margaret taught ballet and modern dance at University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, and Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia. In 1996, she became the Artistic Director for Rockford Dance Company, a position she held until 2010. There she was responsible for the artistic intent of productions, training of the company, and setting the standards of training for the school. Under her direction, the Company twice won the Rockford Mayor’s Arts Award; in 2004 for her production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and again in 2009 for Sleeping Beauty. While working as Director, she served on the Illinois Arts Council Dance Panel and was a member of the executive committee for Arts for Life.
A prolific choreographer, Margaret’s ballets were performed throughout the country. Each production showcased her musicality, creativity, and love for dance. Her range was great; from pageantry of the Emperor and the Nightingale, the whimsy and charm of the slice-of-life ballet Currier & Ives, the drama and horror of The Collector, to the humor of the murder mystery who-done-it parody, Rhapsody in Blood. Margaret’s talents also extended to modern dance choreography, including the works Interplay, Glass Dances and her most significant piece, Fragments. Margaret was perhaps best known for her re-staging of the great story ballets, such as the Nutcracker, Coppelia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, carefully adapting the original choreography to meet the talents of her current young dancers.
Margaret had a deep love for ballet history, carefully collecting a large library of books and film, and would discuss details with great enthusiasm. She was an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, from biographies and fitness to fantasy, mysteries and romance. Browsing through new and used bookstores followed by dining in a restaurant with family and friends was her favorite way to spend her rare days off.
Margaret is survived by her eight brothers and sisters: Elizabeth, Marikay, Patricia, Norma Jeanne, Nancy, John, Anthony, and William. She will be laid to rest in Schaumburg, Illinois beside her mother and father.
Margaret, I learned to love a good story with you around. She was so inspiring and put so much thought into every aspect of her work. My favorite role was Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet. She sat with me to see just what was going on in my head, and spoke to me as a friend would. I was never more confident on stage. I embraced the darkness of that character by seeing the heroic intent in his viewpoint.
Margaret was a master storyteller and a terrific mentor! I miss her so much! ♥
I’m so sorry to hear this! Margret was a teacher, a mentor and a role model for so many. I will be forever grateful for all she taught me. She inspired me to love ballet and follow my dreams to go on dancing and teaching. May she rest in Gods loving arms! RIP! Soar high and fly free!