Blackout Ballet

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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.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 10 Dec 2012 16:00

Ballet dancer Mona Inglesby before Swan Lake

Ballet dancer 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 as 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
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