Ballet Ireland’s Director, Anne Maher, was recently invited to be part of planting a tulip tree in honour of Dame Ninette de Valois in the gardens of Russborough House.
de Valois was born Edris Stannus in June 1898 in Baltyboys House near Blessington. She is known for starting the Abbey School of Ballet with W.B. Yeats in the Abbey Theatre.
‘Fondly known as ‘Madam’, Ninette de Valois was a major figure in ballet world-wide. She also founded The Royal Ballet; the Birmingham Royal Ballet; the Royal Ballet School; danced professionally as a Soloist with Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes; established the State Ballet in Turkey; studied with acclaimed teachers including Edouard Espinosa and mentored younger dancers, among them the iconic Alicia Markova who became a Prima Ballerina Assoluta.’