2 3 Throwback Thursday and Mona Inglesby | Ballet Webb

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday and Mona Inglesby

Throwback Thursday and Mona Inglesby

Mona Inglesby isn’t exactly a name people recognize. She is a forgotten English ballerina with a fascinating history. She was born in London and studied with Marie Rambert and later with Margaret Craske and Nicolas Legat. She performed in Ashton’s Foyer de Danse in 1932, and also danced the role of Papillon in Fokine’s Le Carnaval when Rambert revived the Diaghilev ballet.

In 1940 while driving an ambulance during the Blitz, she has an epiphany. She decided that ballet was the answer to uplifting people’s spirits during wartime. So she began her own company with money borrowed from her father and launched  The International Ballet. She was 22 years old.

Her inspiration was right on target: the public loved the ballet and at a time when other companies were failing, hers succeeded despite the dark years of war in England. Unemployed dancers came to her company looking for work, including Moira Shearer and Maurice Béjart who later achieved great fame.

The International Ballet made ballet affordable for the masses, and featured the classical tradition of the Russian Imperial Ballet. Inglesby also brought ballet to areas that seldom saw ballet, since the company toured all over the world. But in 1953, after running the company for many years without government funding, Inglesby applied for a grant and didn’t receive it. That year the company folded.

Her final years were spent in a nursing home, since her memory gradually failed her. But, once in a while, she’d tell her son that she could still “hear the music, see the stage”. She died on October 6, 2006.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #105:  
Ballerina Mona Inglesby drove an ambulance during WWII and later brought ballet to the masses.

                Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“The only walls that exist are those you have placed in your mind.”
Suzy Kassem

                Help expand the knowledge base!
 Leave a comment about any instructions, ideas, or images that worked best for you!

Want to know more about me? Read my interview at Ballet Connections:

Or "Like" me on my Facebook Author Page:

No comments:

Post a Comment