The Royal Ballet School Special Collections

Founded in 1926 by Ninette de Valois, The Royal Ballet School is the official school of The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet and is one of the world’s top three centres of excellence for classical ballet training. The Royal Ballet School Special Collections trace the activities of the institution from its founding, as the Academy of Choreographic Art, to the present day. School records include photographs of students and alumni: for generations the School has produced outstanding dancers and choreographers of international renown, such as Margot Fonteyn, Kenneth MacMillan, Darcey Bussell, Christopher Wheeldon, Lauren Cuthbertson and Vadim Muntagirov, to name but a few.

The Royal Ballet School Special Collections also relate more broadly to the development of British and European ballet, with substantial collections of photographs, designs, prints, programmes, and other published materials, dating from the early nineteenth century. Many key personal collections are of international significance: they include those of the Founder of The Royal Ballet School and Companies, Ninette de Valois; the Camargo Ballet Society, whose Treasurer was the economist, John Maynard Keynes; Arnold Haskell, the influential dance-writer and first appointed Director of the School; and the great teacher, Vera Volkova, among whose students were Margot Fonteyn, Erik Bruhn and Rudolf Nureyev.

Click here to view the School’s Ballet History Timeline which is illustrated by over 700 items from the School’s Special Collections

Ninette de Valois ;
Robert Roberty ;
at Lyceum Theatre ;
London, UK ;
1914-1915 ;
Photograph by Hana ;
Credit: Royal Ballet School / ArenaPAL


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