Melinda Witham, born in North America, began her training with a Ford Foundation scholarship at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet and continued developing her technical qualities at the American Ballet Theater and the Boston Ballet. In 1973, she left the USA after John Cranko had hired her together with William Forsythe at an audition in New York. However, Cranko died on the flight back to Germany and Glen Tetley took over the direction of the Stuttgart Ballet. In Stuttgart Melinda Witham began to dance in Tetley`s modern ballets and also danced in John Cranko`s Brouillards, Initials R.B.M.E., Jeu de Cartes, Holberg Pas de Deux, and Opus I and danced the roles of the Lilac Fairy and Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty (Rosella Hightower). Her portrayal in Jiří Kylián´s Forgotten Land as well as the roles created for her in Forsythe´s Love Songs, Time Cycle, Whisper Moon, The Dream of Galilei and her Eurydike in his Orpheus remain unforgettable.
Since 1978, Melinda Witham has been married to the filmmaker Dieter Zimmermann with whom she has also prepared ballet productions for television. After the birth of her daughter Lena-Louise, she returned to the stage in 1985 in Tetley’s Le Sacre du Printemps as Reid Anderson’s partner. She added roles in modern ballets by Hans van Manen to her repertoire. In Marcia Haydée’s Giselle, Melinda Witham achieved a mystic portrayal as the Queen of the Wilis. In 1992, after the birth of her son Jeff-Dieter, Melinda Witham began to focus her energies exclusively to her duties as ballet mistress. In this position she was responsible for the repertoire of contemporary ballets, ranging from the neoclassical works of George Balanchine to Christian Spuck’s early creations.
In the meantime she returned to the stage as a Character Artist. She took over many character roles such as Countess Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, Madame Larina in Onegin (both: John Cranko), the Queen in Swan Lake (John Cranko) as well as in The Sleeping Beauty (Marcia Haydée), Bernarda in Las Hermanas (Kenneth MacMillan) or Madge in La Sylphide (Peter Schaufuss).