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Ninette de Valois

(1898-2001), Founder and Director of the Royal Ballet; wife of Arthur Blackall Connell

Dame Ninette de Valois (Edris Stannus)

Sitter in 26 portraits
Born in Ireland, Edris Stannus began her training with the Lila Field Academy for Children in London. She took the stage name Ninette de Valois and during the war danced at the Lyceum. In 1919 she became premiere danseuse at Covent Garden and she was a member of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes for two seasons, 1923-5. Resolved to form her own company, she established the Academy of Choreographic Art in 1926 and was engaged to arrange dances at the Old Vic. She founded the Vic-Wells Ballet (later The Royal Ballet) in 1931. Among the major ballets she created were Job (1931), The Rake's Progress (1935) and Checkmate (1937). She was made a Dame in 1951.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Ninette de Valois, by Cecil Beaton - NPG P869(9)

Ninette de Valois

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print on white card mount, November 1955
NPG P869(9)

Ninette de Valois, by Frederick Edward ('F.E.') McWilliam - NPG 4679

Ninette de Valois

by Frederick Edward ('F.E.') McWilliam
bronze head, 1964
NPG 4679

Ninette de Valois, by Bernard Lee ('Bern') Schwartz - NPG P1162

Ninette de Valois

by Bernard Lee ('Bern') Schwartz
dye transfer print, 26 April 1977
NPG P1162

Ninette de Valois, by Zsuzsi Roboz - NPG 5426

Ninette de Valois

by Zsuzsi Roboz
charcoal, 1980
NPG 5426

Ninette de Valois, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x83047

Ninette de Valois

by Bassano Ltd
bromide print, 25 August 1920
NPG x83047

Ninette de Valois, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x18943

Ninette de Valois

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 August 1920
NPG x18943

Ninette de Valois, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x18944

Ninette de Valois

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 August 1920
NPG x18944

Ninette de Valois, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x18945

Ninette de Valois

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 August 1920
NPG x18945

Ninette de Valois, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x18946

Ninette de Valois

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 August 1920
NPG x18946

Ninette de Valois, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x18947

Ninette de Valois

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 August 1920
NPG x18947

Ninette de Valois, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x18948

Ninette de Valois

by Bassano Ltd
whole-plate glass negative, 25 August 1920
NPG x18948

Ninette de Valois, by Gordon Anthony - NPG x194343

Ninette de Valois

by Gordon Anthony
vintage bromide print, 1930s
NPG x194343

Ninette de Valois instructing pupils at Sadler's Wells Theatre, by James Jarché, for  Daily Herald - NPG x131115

Ninette de Valois instructing pupils at Sadler's Wells Theatre

by James Jarché, for Daily Herald
modern bromide print from original negative, 5 September 1932
NPG x131115

Ninette de Valois instructing pupils at Sadler's Wells Theatre, by James Jarché, for  Daily Herald - NPG x131116

Ninette de Valois instructing pupils at Sadler's Wells Theatre

by James Jarché, for Daily Herald
modern bromide print from original negative, 5 September 1932
NPG x131116

Ninette De Valois, Harold Turner and members of The English Ballet rehearsing Les Sylphides, by James Jarché - NPG x88326

Ninette De Valois, Harold Turner and members of The English Ballet rehearsing Les Sylphides

by James Jarché
modern bromide print from original negative, 5 September 1932
NPG x88326

Ninette de Valois, by Gordon Anthony - NPG x44790

Ninette de Valois

by Gordon Anthony
bromide print, 1937
NPG x44790

Violetta Elvin (née Prokhorova); Ninette de Valois; Margot Fonteyn, by Keystone Press Agency Ltd - NPG x184371

Violetta Elvin (née Prokhorova); Ninette de Valois; Margot Fonteyn

by Keystone Press Agency Ltd
bromide press print, 14 October 1954
NPG x184371

Ninette de Valois, by Mayotte Magnus - NPG x18648

Ninette de Valois

by Mayotte Magnus
bromide print, May 1976
NPG x18648

Ninette de Valois, by Anne-Katrin Purkiss - NPG x31694

Ninette de Valois

by Anne-Katrin Purkiss
bromide fibre print, February 1988
NPG x31694

Ninette de Valois, by Boo Beaumont - NPG x88787

Ninette de Valois

by Boo Beaumont
bromide print, May 1998
NPG x88787

Ninette de Valois, by Cecil Beaton - NPG D17943(55)

Ninette de Valois

by Cecil Beaton
pencil, early 1970s
NPG D17943(55)

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Dame Ninette de Valois (Edris Stannus)

by Lord Snowdon
gelatin silver print, 5 November 1991
NPG P1868

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Ninette de Valois

by Sir (Henry) Ashley Clarke
vintage colour snapshot print, October 1954
NPG x136203

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