Ninette de Valois by Mesdames Morter, 1932,
courtesy of Dancing Times
Click here to download an illustrated report by Anna Meadmore - June 2011
Laura Dodge write-up of the Conference - University of Roehampton student - 4 April 2011
Lynette Halewood write-up of the Conference - ballet.co.uk Postings - 5 April 2011
Kathy Harcombe report - How Ninette de Valois took the dance to Turkey - BBC News- World News Today - 8 April 2011
Deirdre Mulrooney Blog - Ninette de Valois: Adventurous Traditionalist, at The Royal Ballet School - 16 April 2011
Jann Parry article on the Conference for ballet.co.uk - 28 April 2011
Deirdre Mulrooney Interview with Anna Meadmore - April 2011
Victoria Watts’ report on the Conference - April 2011
Young Eun Yang Blog of the Department of Dance, Film and Theatre at the University of Surrey - 8 May 2011
Extracts from some of the many letters and emails received following the de Valois Conference (reproduced by kind permission of the writers):
We hope to continue the dialogue started by the de Valois Conference; if you have any comments you would like to add, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annette Fraser, delegate. 04/04/11
I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the conference this weekend. It was a weekend to remember, both for its content and also for the immaculate organisation of the event. I feel very grateful to have attended and to hear so many memories and so much informed comment about Dame Ninette and her legacy. There was so much to reflect on that my head was full by the end of the first session on each day and yet there were so many more sessions to come. I particularly enjoyed the variety of the event, in terms of content, presenters and location and can only say a very heartfelt thank you for all of the effort that went into making the event so successful and so enjoyable.
Amanda Selby, delegate. 05/04/11
I just wanted to convey my thanks and much gratitude to all who put so much time and effort into this week-end's Conference in tribute to Madam. It was a truly unique and wonderful event - so stimulating and thought provoking and I felt very privileged to attend. Many, many thanks to all for giving so much time and devotion to a truly wonderful event - the wonderful woman that was "Madam" must have inspired everyone!
Barbara Iles, Volunteer student helper, RHUL. 05/04/11
I wanted to say thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be involved in such a lovely event. It was a pleasure to work with everyone at the Royal Ballet Schools, both Lower and Upper; everyone was so welcoming. I found the experience invaluable, speaking as someone who is embarking on a career in arts administration.
Jann Parry, Contributor; author of Different Drummer, The Life of Kenneth MacMillan. 05/04/11
Thank you all very much for a wonderfully organised and highly enjoyable conference. A judicious mix of scholarly papers, theatrical personalities and a variety of performances. Very happy punters all round, in my overhearings. And wasn't the weather good!
Elizabeth Bouttell, delegate. 06/04/11
I just wanted to say how thoroughly I enjoyed this conference and much appreciate all the hard work that went into its success. Being just a balletomane and not a professional I had been a bit concerned that some might have been too 'highbrow' but I think it hit the right balance.
Diana Hindley, delegate. 06/04/11
A big thank you to all involved in the de Valois Conference. It was exceedingly well organised, immensely interesting and ran so smoothly…It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity of seeing White Lodge. What lucky young students to have such magnificent surroundings.
Lynne Wake, Contributor. Director of the de Valois documentary Come Dance With Me. 07/04/11
Many congratulations on your super-energetic de Valois Conference. Momentum sustained right up to the end, which kept us all on our toes (and, what’s more, awake!)
Anna Hawtree, delegate. Former student, The Royal Ballet School. 07/04/11
Many congratulations for producing such an excellent conference last weekend…I am sure it was such a success as the conference wasn’t just centred round ballet but also music, drama and literature. I particularly enjoyed meeting the Irish delegates and seeing ‘The King of the Great Clock Tower’. What a powerful performance.
Alastair Macaulay, Contributor, Chief Dance Critic, the New York Times. 08/04/11
You did her proud: we all learned so much, and those who did not attend all three days were ill-advised…There are many avenues now to investigate further…The marvel of your conference was that it opened up [many] areas of thought.
Professor Beth Genné, Contributor, Professor of Dance Studies, University of Michigan. 08/04/11
Thank you for such a wonderful conference. I thought it was beautifully organized with just the right balance of demonstrations, panels and scholarly papers. The Royal Ballet Students looked truly wonderful – it was fascinating and enlightening to see the de Valois class, and the excerpts from her works danced so beautifully. And The King of the Great Clock Tower was a revelation. It was one of the very best conferences I’ve ever been to and it has inspired me anew to continue on in my own research.
Vernie Stilwell, delegate. White Lodge Museum Volunteer. 08/04/11
A truly fascinating, interesting, and enjoyable day last Sunday. Well done to all the organizers. My friends said that the day was truly memorable. So pleased that the weather was kind and we were able to enjoy a delicious lunch sitting outside.
Dr Victoria O’Brien, Development Officer at the National Dance Archive of Ireland, University of Limerick. 09/04/11
It was honestly my pleasure to present on the Abbey School to such a distinguished audience. I confess, I was nervous. There were so many eminent dancers, teachers, directors and academics there. It was like the pages of a dance history book on British Ballet had come to life. May I also take the opportunity to congratulate you on a really wonderful conference. It was the most exciting, interesting and best organised conference that I have ever attended.
Louise Verity, delegate. Great-niece of Ninette de Valois. 10/04/11
Thank you for the wonderful Edris Event…what was clear – that her duty, service and self-sacrifice gave you the military structures of Ballet today, and forward march…
Professor Mary King, delegate. 20/04/11
Thanks for a splendid Ninette de Valois Conference. It was one of the best of the many I have attended, brought to life especially by the performance emphasis. The young dancers were a joy to watch and the papers and discussions stimulating and varied.
Dr Helena Hammond, Contributor. Lecturer in Dance, University of Surrey. 21/04/11
Thank you… for a superb conference. I felt very privileged to have been there for it. ‘Ninette de Valois: Adventurous Traditionalist’ has launched ‘de Valois studies’ for new generations and the conference opened up so many research questions and avenues to pursue through all the new light it shed on so many aspects of de Valois’s career and life…The whole event made a strong impact that will last and live on in the memories of the very many attending for years to come.
Michael Hogan, Panellist. Sadler’s Wells Ballet member from 1946. 30/05/11
I was extremely glad to have participated and been able to relate my personal experiences and views, in a small way…
Sir Peter Wright, Panellist. Director Laureate, The Birmingham Royal Ballet. 31/05/11
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! What a remarkable achievement – So full of interest, so smoothly running, so enjoyable, so beautifully presented, so packed with information, and so friendly – I do hope they were giving Madam a party up in Heaven during those days of the Conference…I do congratulate each and every one of you for making such a success of such an important occasion.