Dame Alicia Markova DBE (1910 – 2004) was an English ballerina and a choreographer, director and teacher of classical ballet. Most noted for her career with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and touring internationally, she was widely considered to be one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of the twentieth century. She was the first British dancer to become the principal dancer of a ballet company.
With Dame Margot Fonteyn, she is one of only two English dancers to be recognised as a prima ballerina assoluta. Markova was a founder dancer of the Rambert Dance Company, The Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, and was co-founder and director of the English National Ballet.
Alicia Markova in Giselle, as she appeared for the first time with the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas at the Empire Theatre, Paris, on November 21, 1953. Photo by Serge Lido.
Alicia Markova – America’s Nutcracker Suite-heart © Maurice Seymour
The feisty Markova in Les Masques, 1933
Dame Alicia Markova (Lilian Alicia Marks) dans La Chatte (Boris Kochno – Henri Sauguet – George Balanchine pour les Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev), ca 1927