Vintage Photos of the Very Elegant Prima Ballerina Alicia Markova

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.

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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 via

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Alicia Markova – America’s Nutcracker Suite-heart © Maurice Seymour via

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The feisty Markova in Les Masques, 1933 via

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Dame Alicia Markova (Lilian Alicia Marks) dans La Chatte (Boris Kochno – Henri Sauguet – George Balanchine pour les Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev), ca 1927 via

Vintage Photos of Russian Prima Ballerina Alexandra Danilova

Aleksandra Dionisyevna Danilova (1903 – 1997) was a Russian-born prima ballerina, who became an American citizen. In 1989, she was recognized for lifetime achievements in ballet as a Kennedy Center Honoree.

Born in Peterhof, Russia on November 20, 1903, she trained at the Russian Imperial Ballet School in Leningrad (formerly and currently St. Petersburg). She was one of the few Russian-trained ballerinas to tour outside Russia. Her first professional post was as a member of St. Petersburg’s Imperial Ballet.

In 1924, she and George Balanchine left Russia. They were soon picked up by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes; Danilova as a dancer, Balanchine as a choreographer. Danilova toured for years with the Ballets Russes under Sergei Diaghilev, then with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo after Diaghilev’s death.[1] With the latter company, Danilova andFrederic Franklin created one of the legendary ballet partnerships of the twentieth century. Danilova became known for her glamour and beautiful legs, as well as her work ethic and professionalism.

Danilova made her Broadway debut in 1944’s Song of Norway; her last ballet performance was in 1957.

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Alexandra Danilova photographed by George Platt Lynes, c. 1930s via

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 Alexandra Danilova as a star of Colonel de Basil’s Ballet Russe  (1936)  by Maurice Seymour. Courtesy of Ronald Seymour/Maurice Seymour Archive via

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Alexandra Danilova in Ballet Russe’s Nutcracker via

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F. Franklin and Alexandra Danilova by Irving Penn, 1948 via

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The Legs of Danilova, New York by Erwin Blumenfeld, 1950 via

Alexandra Danilova dances in Gaite Parisienne

A Collection of Vintage Photos feat. Valda Valkyrien

Valda Valkyrien (1895 – 1956) was a Danish prima ballerina and a silent film actress.

Born Adele Eleonore Freed in Reykjavík, Iceland, under the stage name Valda Valkyrien she was prima ballerina of the Royal Danish Ballet. She married Danish nobleman and author, Baron Hrolf von Dewitz and in 1912 began appearing in motion pictures for Nordisk Film productions of Copenhagen.

With World War I raging in Europe, in 1915 a New York City publisher released her husband’s book titled War’s New Weapons which received considerable publicity. That same year, Thanhouser Studios capitalized on her husband’s success and her aristocratic title, billing her as Baroness von Dewitz in a film about Norse mythology titled The Valkyrie. The resulting success brought Valda Valkyrien an offer from the Fox Film Corporationand in 1916 she signed on to make feature-length productions.

Her career only lasted a few years. Most of Valkyrien’s films exist only in fragmentary form or survive only via movie still photographs.

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Valda Valkyrien in The Valkyrie, 1915 via

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Valda Valkyrien in or as The Valkyrie, 1915 via

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Valda Valkyrien via

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Valda Valkyrien via