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Michael George Somes

(1917-1994), Ballet dancer and teacher

Sitter in 5 portraits
The first boy to receive a scholarship to the Vic-Wells School, Somes joined the Company the following year in 1935. His matinee idol looks and exceptional jump attracted the attention of Ashton, who created numerous roles for him in his ballets, including Les Patineurs (1937), Horoscope (1938) and Symphonic Variations (1946). Noted as a danseur noble, he succeeded Helpmann as Fonteyn's regular partner in 1950 and created roles opposite her in Daphnis and Chloe (1951), Sylvia (1952) and Ondine (1958). As assistant director, 1963-70, and principal répétiteur, 1970-85, he raised standards within the Company and forged the Sibley-Dowell partnership.

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

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Michael George Somes, by Paul Tanqueray - NPG x26509

Michael George Somes

by Paul Tanqueray
vintage bromide print, 1959
NPG x26509

Michael George Somes, by Godfrey Argent - NPG x165751

Michael George Somes

by Godfrey Argent
bromide print, 5 February 1970
NPG x165751

Michael George Somes, by Godfrey Argent - NPG x165752

Michael George Somes

by Godfrey Argent
bromide print, 5 February 1970
NPG x165752

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Paddy Stephenson; Margot Fonteyn; Julia Farron; Michael George Somes

possibly by Sir (Henry) Ashley Clarke
vintage snapshot print, September-October 1948
NPG x136171

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Group on Avenue Raymond Poincaré in Paris

possibly by Sir (Henry) Ashley Clarke
vintage snapshot print, September-October 1948
NPG x136218


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