Ninette de Valois


NINETTE DE VALOIS, the world-famous prima ballerina, was born Edris Stannus in 1898 and raised at Baltiboys in County Wicklow. In this autobiography, first published in 1957 and now appearing in a new paperback edition, she writes about her extraordinary career – the vivid memories of home in Ireland; her first London engagement at the Lyceum pantomime in 1914; her tour of the Continent with Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes in 1923; her time with the Abbey Theatre in the late 1920s, and the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells in the 1930s, touring in America with the latter and moving it to Covent Garden in 1946; her travels in Yugoslavia and Turkey where she established a ballet school in 1947; and her founding of The Royal Ballet in 1956, from which she retired as director in 1966.