Markova, Dame Alicia


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Markova, Dame Alicia

(märkō`vä), 1910–2004, English ballerina. Her original name was Lilian Alicia Marks. Markova joined DiaghilevDiaghilev, Sergei Pavlovich
, 1872–1929, Russian ballet impresario and art critic, grad. St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, 1892. In 1898 he founded an influential journal, Mir Iskusstva [The World of Art].
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's Ballets Russes in 1924 and, in 1931, the Vic-Wells Ballet (now the Royal BalletRoyal Ballet,
the principal British ballet company, based at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. It is noted for lavish dramatic productions, a superbly disciplined corps de ballet, and brilliant performances from its principals.
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), becoming its first prima ballerina in 1933. In 1935 she formed a company with Anton DolinDolin, Sir Anton
, 1904–83, English ballet dancer and choreographer, originally named Patrick Healey-Kay. Dolin joined Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in 1921, becoming a principal danseur in 1924. Leaving the company in 1925, he formed his own company with Vera Nemchinova.
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. After appearing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo (1938–41), she danced with Ballet Theatre (1941–44) and other American ballet companies. She worked again with Dolin from 1949 to 1952 in their Festival Ballet company. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1963, the year she retired from dancing. Markova was noted for her purity of line, precise style, and ethereal grace. She excelled in all the classic roles, and her interpretations of Giselle (her signature role), Pas de Quatre, Petrouchka, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet were exceptionally celebrated. After her retirement, she directed the Metropolitan Opera Ballet for six years, taught, and coached, particularly at the Royal Ballet.

Bibliography

See her Giselle and I (1960); biography by T. Sutton (2013).

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