Dame Ninette DE VALOIS DBE (1898-2001)

Ninette de Valois
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THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Dame Ninette de Valois, Irish-born dancer, teacher, choreographer and director of classical ballet, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the London home of dancer Frederick Ashton.


Ninette danced professionally with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in the 1920s, before establishling her own company, known as the Vic-Wells Ballet, which would, in time, become The Royal Ballet, one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century.


She also established the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School. She is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of ballet and as the 'godmother' of English ballet.

Anna Meadmore, curator of The Royal Ballet's White Lodge Museum, discusses This Is Your Life in an exclusive interview recorded in April 2013

Photographs of Dame Ninette de Valois This Is Your Life (click images to enlarge)

programme details...

  • Edition No: 253
  • Subject No: 253
  • Broadcast date: Thu 9 Apr 1964
  • Broadcast time: 8.50-9.15pm
  • Recorded: Sun 5 Apr 1964
  • Venue: Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
  • Series: 9
  • Edition: 27

on the guest list...

  • Robert Helpmann
  • Phyllis Bedells
  • Jean Bedells
  • Jennifer Bedells
  • Dorothy Coxon
  • Violetta Elvin
  • Antonio Elvin
  • Sir Frederick Ashton
  • Antoinette Sibley
  • Lynn Seymour
  • Merle Park
  • Dame Margot Fonteyn
  • Rudolph Nureyev
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Dame Adeline Genee
  • Alicia Markova

production team...

  • Researcher: Nickola Sterne
  • Writer: Nickola Sterne
  • Director: Michael Goodwin
  • Producer: Vere Lorrimer
  • Executive Producer: T Leslie Jackson
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
with thanks to Anna Meadmore, curator of The Royal Ballet's White Lodge Museum for her contribution to this page
Series 9 subjects: Stratford Johns > Alice Sterne > Robert Boothby > Bessie Love > Joan Stanton > Harry Worth > John Dodd > Ralph Reader > Albert Guerisse > Margaret Lockwood > Franklin Day > Frederick Spencer Chapman > Thora Hird > Evelyn Bark > Madge Watson and Elsie Wood > Petula Clark > Derek McCulloch > Bert Matthews > Ted Moult > Dot Palmer > Teddy Winn > Barbara Mullen > Paul Burrough > Sydney Scroggie > Ninette de Valois > Dominique Pire > Olivia de Havilland > Mary Hawkins