10th anniversary of de Valois’ death commemorated at White Lodge
In a moving tribute marking ten years since her death, a group of staff and students at White Lodge laid pink roses by the tree where Dame Ninette de Valois’ ashes lie. De Valois founded The Royal Ballet School in 1926 and died aged 102, on 8 March 2001.
The students of White Lodge attended a special assembly to honour de Valois’ immeasurable contribution to the cultural life of Britain and beyond, with staff and students reflecting and giving thanks for the extraordinary legacy they inherit. The tributes were led by curator of the White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre, Anna Meadmore, who talked about de Valois’ life, influences, motivation and her ethos.
White Lodge ballet teacher (and former student of de Valois) Nicola Katrak read one of de Valois’ poems entitled The Contented Ghost:
..so should you feel my presence near,
Stand still and ponder on
The needless thrust of fearful fear -
And I will wander on.
Remarkably, and appropriately, the anniversary coincided with the centenary of International Women’s Day - a day dedicated to celebrating the lives of women who have contributed economically, politically or culturally to the life of the nation.
As part of the commemoration of ten years since her death, the world’s first ever conference dedicated to the life and work of Dame Ninette de Valois - Ninette de Valois: Adventurous Traditionalist - is being hosted by The Royal Ballet School from 1 - 3 April 2011 with hundreds of people attending from every corner of the world.
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Pictured: White Lodge Head Girl and Head Boy, together with the two youngest students are joined by Assistant Director, Jay Jolley, Pippa Hogg-Andrews, Diane van Schoor, Nicola Katrak, Hope Keelan and Anna Meadmore.
Photo: Marius Arnold-Clarke