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London Festival Ballet at the Royal Festival Hall in 1952

Take a trip through our timeline and explore our rich history from the company’s early beginnings under founders Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin through to the present day.

Read our full company history or for any research enquiries then please contact our archive team.

 

1950

FOUNDING OF THE COMPANY

Ballet stars Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, along with impressario Julian Braunsweg, officially established the company that would become English National Ballet.

Beginning life under the name Gala Performances of Ballet, the Company adopted the name Festival Ballet, then London Festival Ballet until June 1989.

Touring was at the heart of the Company's plans from the very beginning with the first performances taking place at the King's Theatre, Southsea, followed by a season at the Pavillion, Bournemouth.

1950

FIRST LONDON SEASON

Presented at the Stoll Theatre, the repertoire for the first London season included Nutcracker Act II of Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides and Anton Dolin’s solo Bolero.

Presented at the Stoll Theatre, the repertoire for the first London season included Nutcracker Act II of Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides and Anton Dolin’s solo Bolero.

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