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Mon 10 Dec 2012 16:00 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 10 December 2012

Ismene Brown uncovers the untold story of the International Ballet Company, founded by the young British ballerina Mona Inglesby. It was a hugely successful British ballet company that toured Britain throughout the war and for 12 years afterwards, performing lavish, full-scale ballets and playing in cinemas where theatres weren't available, taking ballet to the people at a price they could afford.

They rivalled Ninette de Valois' Sadler's Wells company (now the Royal Ballet) and Alicia Markova's Festival Ballet (now the English National Ballet) and played an essential role in the creation of a British ballet tradition and also in the salvation of the Russian ballet classics, yet now they are forgotten.

Surviving dancers now in their 70s and 80s, ask why Mona Inglesby never received the acknowledgement she deserved.

Producer: Philippa Ritchie.

  • Ballet dancer Mona Inglesby before Swan Lake

    Mona Inglesby before Swan Lake

    Mona Inglesby as Odile (The Black Swan) just before going on stage

    © Fred Daniels/Baxter-Derrington

  • Mona Inglesby in Swan Lake

    Mona Inglesby in Swan Lake

    Mona Inglesby in Swan Lake as Odette

     

    © Fred Daniels/Baxter-Derrington

     

  • Mona Inglesby as Giselle

    Mona Inglesby in Giselle

    Mona Inglesby as Giselle c 1950

     

    (c) Hamilton Studios/Baxter-Derrington

  • Mona Inglesby in Gaiete Parisienne

    Mona Inglesby in Gaiete Parisienne

    As The Glove-Seller in Gaieté Parisienne, choreography by Leonid Massine

    © Fred Daniels/Baxter-Derrington

  • Mona Inglesby in Capriccio Espagnole

    Mona Inglesby in Capriccio Espagnole

    Choreography by Leonide Massine

    © Fred Daniels/Baxter-Derrington

  • Mona Inglesby and her dog Copper

    Mona Inglesby and her dog Copper

    © Baxter-Derrington

  • Mona Inglesby in The Sleeping Princess

    Mona Inglesby in The Sleeping Princess
    As Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Princess (The Sleeping Beauty) (c) Royal Opera House Frank Sharman Collection
  • Link to Royal Opera House Frank Sharman Photographic Collection

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