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Dame Alicia Markova

2022-10-14 | 🔗
Dame Alicia Markova was born Lilian Alice Marks in December 1910, in a two-bedroom flat in Finsbury Park, London. She began ballet classes because she was flat footed and knock kneed. Her natural talent, when she was ten, was spotted by Diaghilev, the Russian artistic impresario who founded the Ballets Russes and brought the contemporary arts of Russia to Europe. Dame Alicia joined Diaghilev's company, which was based in Monte Carlo, in 1925, a month after her 14th birthday. Diaghilev changed her name to Alicia Markova and cast her in the title role of Nightingale in Le Rossignol, a ballet scored by Stravinsky, choreographed by Balanchine and with costumes designed by Matisse. It premiered in Paris in June 1925. After Diaghilev's death in 1929 she returned to England and became a leading figure of the emerging English ballet scene, dancing with the Ballet Rambert and Vic Wells Ballet, as well as at Sadlers Wells. Dame Alicia danced the leading roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Giselle, which became her trademark, illustrating her unique style of fragility and strength. In 1950, together with her dancing partner Anton Dolin, Dame Alicia founded The London Festival Ballet which eventually became the English National Ballet. She was still dancing Giselle at the age of 48 and had her last dance on stage in the early 1960s. Subsequently she has worked as director, patron and teacher and was awarded the CBE for services to dance in 1958. Her memory for dance steps has proved invaluable for dance historians, pupils and teachers alike. [Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs] Favourite track: Softly Awakes my Heart from Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saëns Book: Speaking of Diaghilev by John Drummond Luxury: The perfume Knowing by Estee Lauder
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Michael Isabel arena she's been acclaimed as one of the world's greatest exponents of her at a huge achievement for the girl born lillian marks in finsbury park north london at the age of ten. She caught the eye of the great diego if striven ski wrote. Her first ballet motifs, designed her costume balin jean was the choreographer. Her greatness assured her international future, but in the thirties. She chose to work in britain, starring, saddlers wills and taking ballet all over the country later she cofounded what is today the english national ballet and between all of this,
she performed on all the world's great stages, her fragile ethereal presence, keeping audiences spellbound until she retired from performance at the age of fifty. Who, since then she's been tireless in promoting both the artistic and educational side of ballet. I know I have done my share when needed. She says. All I can say is thank god for that. She is dame elisa mark of her. It was in act day militia. I think I am right in saying Diego if who gave you that name alicia mark of a wasn't it? How did that come about? Oh definitely, if I may say I think the whole of my life. I miss thank that great gin,
when he saw me first here in london when I was ten when I'd just been in pench. My nablus launched him pent my andor. He was going to take me into the company. Unfortunately, I went down with dip Syria and at that period that was missed the end and of course that was the first terrible thing in my life disappointment and fortunately I took good care and request and then he showed me a game when I judge became fourteen, but at that time you were still lillian. Elisa marks went to tell me about when he got you two monte, carlo and how he came to change your name immediately. I thought all out be given a wonderful.
hush name. You know, and I took to be all gush deal that and I waited for the very first programme when I opened it. I wish I were disappointed, because I saw I was certainly share, which was my own name and the march. He just took s of the and imports of ie eight and there are worse, And here I am I. What did you call him? Oh, I didn't speak anything voting dish that time and I didn't understand- and I heard all the rush and members addressing him in a certain way- the ones that spoke english to me. I asked the match said: watches that strange thing you address him and they,
that's always in russia. It you take the name of the gentlemen's far haven't I thought, search you pop. If, as fast If his name is savage, I thought well, if I say pop in Britain you could your papa pap pero. You know he looked at me. I said: is that alright and he looked down and he shed geesh He was so cheap pop. As long as she lived to me tell me about the first record, you'd like to take to this desert island. The sleeping beauty was at risk sleeping beauty that I met the great t agli through that that what brought together and in the first I wish to be the
smallish fairy who ever came to The questioning in the first act the the the the
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the The pneumonia orchestra conducted by herbert fun, carryin playing part of the second act? tchaikowski is sleeping beauty who show you loved that peace day monsieur and many other of the year, the classic ballet p.
Says when you were little girl, but when you got two monte carlo age. Fourteen with diego, if you found yourself having to dance to striven ski, how did you react to that? The balance is to be made new for me by the new young choreographer from russia, george and shooting we were brought together that'll do thea sunlight, the nightingale and the first rehearsal private rehearse a month ago. We arrive no pianist, they had the euro on the the piano pianola. Yes, I'd. Try now try to listen to him and at that time he didn't speak. english and I started crying mad poor, bad,
shame, he did obama crying oh, but you were crying because you didn't understand of insecure, musically, nice Didn't I never had striven ski you say and then suddenly the great MR jag left walked in two hours. Has software heat had to dinner appointment, thirty pop came in central park and he came in to see how we were getting on all three, both more or less chairs and no work can hadn't. He set what watched the wrong and balance sheet and rash and major pray tell him. He said
the next show tomorrow evening tomorrow evening I will bring somebody alone that will help you best arrived the next evening, who did to bring, was striven to help and did help. From that moment he was family to me and, of course, that particular ballet that the nightingale, the rossignol of stravinsky, was designed by matisse, so they had one of another, great god god of design and are the god of dance, the god of music standing around you, this little fragile little protegee did you did you feel a sort of weight of responsibility? delivering? I never would have been very strange because that over the first performed took place in powers. I was said aloud
to where all over wide show tat shone with jewels, which was very has on guard ass the night in, but when we arrived in london to perform, it's nineteen twenty seven. I could wear the tight, but they had to be covered with chiffon with diamonds in it because, since the lord shame me limit the age and they were disclosed wench whoa figure now tell me about the the merry widow tell me why you want to take this to your desert island. Well, it was my daddy I was about to and if I couldn't sleep he'd pick me up Put me on his shoulder and heat was around the room and hum and wish the merry, with your walls,
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the it was part of the eu, sure the merry widow written and conducted by friends later with the vienna for demonic orchestra, but let's
malaysia now go back to the beginning, because it far more prosaic than everything we ve been talking about. With these great names you ve known. In fact, you took up ballet for medical reasons. Didn't you my nap, it came chevron. We're still go worth. My youngest sister, mother and god gave my dear person doktor fish and in the summer daddy take little house beach for breed be down there for a month. I love the beach, but I never win the water I wish nevers them on the way home. I heard goggly shaped to mother. Just look at that level, one in four, she's rolling about show mother said when we get back to town. Take her and fine
now why she swore walk night that show they did method to commit to harley street, to hear for that kind of sale. He shed watch be willing to do an experiment with me fine, the nearest school that gives exercises in the badly and let's see whether it will to watch. Maybe I have in mind show matter said: yes, and then suddenly. I heard him say, of course, if ah thing doesn't work,
he said all. I can tell you about that when she will have to wear the icons leghorns the islands and pay for too long. Sheer have to be unaware. Chaired that were raised. end of her said that is where the steely determination came from to succeed the threat of leg on effort rush to read me if ever hard work, I would do it tell me about record number three. Oh, that was so an irish, dumb sing at the opera house. in new york and they did abused for battling for me, the
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the the dance of the best spirits from looks orpheus. you're a deceit laid by the NBC symphony orchestra conducted by october. Tuscany. Let me go back again to your childhood because it does seem to me. You suffered quite a lot of crises during the course of it, not just the medical one you ve just told us about, but yeah
your father, died. I think very suddenly, when you are in your very early teens third. gene and that puts the reason geography to me. He became in a way my badly faster, and how much did he pay you? I wish was the same as the corps de ballet at that time, and I think it was two pounds a week. But then, of course you were incredibly successful. Then when you went to monte carlo and within about four four and a half years, diaghilev had human. out as his principal dancer didn t- and it was all going to re open the season before he died here in london, covent garden. He told me that when later wicca. I would be entering the company,
their that ballerina where the proper contract I went out, and I just thank god and tank, every body and then suddenly he was dead. I asked you felt like the end of everything. It was the end of that and it was day net who were had been with me when I went to juggle nina devour you she and suddenly she knew what jack le pen demand foam easy, but it was hard work, and I want you to tell me about that in a moment, but that's paused there for your fourth record. This is what unspoken that's what we want. Yet I do love to hear it again.
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great number, one played by the halle orchestra conducted by alway, Norwell hughes. The public was so take him back and shop. They weren't expecting love. They got from me. They expected me a a two two years. She, like you, wall, wished it polka and what did you have on? Then? I had little pen cover with a skirt but on this special music heads, didn't late date. Data date, I walked out the back and I dropped the sky and dance in this martin that'll pants, let's just stay where we were there in in the nineteen thirteen, when ballet was still
very much an embryo in this country? You'd come back. You became the star of of saddle as well as, but then in the midst of it, is you decided to go out on tour and take your back to the people they call to the people's ballerina? didn t. You almost seem to have had a kind of missionary zeal about it. Now. Why did you feel that strongly I done. What do you mean it wanted? The clash lunch to found company on us, all the modern works. going well and that done says with tommy the younger ones for change who I gave a fish when she came to my teacher and shelf shape from china as peggy hook of manner and, before I left a company,
every rose she was going to. I taught sells it. She got the correct thing. You are often for british people, the first prima ballerina they'd ever seen, went you oh, I view the fresh british, yes and I've always felt if possible, we should give them the bash, because there many people without money who curtain journey in non leave. A family or some thing tell me about your fifth record. Well, they shook up plan fairy, my first performance march. It cyclists worse. I had been told before one. The very issue is one of the most difficult things ever and there's your great step, which is called the goggly yard and
in that variation. If you can't sit correctly, you have to do davos time, while you're turning in the air show it's never given to abolish rayner, who couldn't do that? That's? Why You always had to india training land. gallagher yards The the
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The. Dance to the sugar plums vary from chekhov skis, nutcracker sweet played by the vienna philharmonic orchestra conducted by James Levine, you when you dance that not a sound must be heard. Even when your landing from a great height as it were, people always and you were like fissile down. You know so light you stayed higher in the air and for longer than any one else. Is it possible to describe how you can do that? I think is being very fort. To have been trained by the two greatest professors for dance maestro trick. Katie. I was the last person train by him, a juggler,
I had led get, and here I care when I was twelve, but these choreographers were always asking you to do more work day, and it seems to me that that that was the kind of person you were. You are always willing to ask yourself to do more work suppose they were touched. Take me and you know I said no, no well if they were the greatest night. They must know better than I do tell me about dancing with on Dolan. Who was your partner for thirty years? Of course, it was said that you were two halves of a single figure when you dance together again. Can you explain is what is that born offers? It born of of trust, and I think the important thing was that we, both stared diet, rematch
in the show she at the pheasant tree with their staff a vet when he was a little boy into a little and he used to pull your head and he I was ten, and I think he was sixteen when I used to go to the bar and suddenly feel a pinch, and I thought I don't like that, and I thought I'm not going to go to the bar I let everybody take their place. I was see where he is then and I'll go the opposite end of the studio. But what did it feel like to dance with him? I did it did it feel that you were one figure, two yeah gather are as it were, because that's what we feel like. Oh no river very much each other, but I think undisturbed each at the she of watch. We trying to achieve and water.
When you are on stage performing well, your great role, of course use when, towards the end always seem to have the audience absolutely in the palm of your hand as she goes mad. You know that emotion than that is delivered through. Your dancing has made people cryin that moment. How do you convey that emotion? You she wore too interested me. One shy had learnt the technique so that I was really interested in the person I wish to give to the audience? Either? Shoes Juliet you have to convince your audience that all day can see. It's not me. the key issue- shell or juliet suffering, tell me about it,
ex piece of music. Now this is an area from vat is aida. Why do you want that? You're, nice So much of my life, the metropolitan up. A house in new york, first, of course, with the badly and then when I announce my retirement and badly. They asked me to take more die takeover as you're too, because they knew I knew all the pros and cons No, maybe how to bring new people. And so I think I e came up, and that was always very popular and we had to bow which, after all, is very nice and it went wonder,
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She door return victor sung by renate about from vat is either with the orchestra, the less we surround conducted by our best to evade. You gave everything you had dame elysium mark of up to your career, didn't you and, and it in that possibly that's why you never married that you felt the wasn't enough of you to spare I'd sink. Oh, I could marry several times. I think it got blood debt ridden Chang me to do that. I've been given samantha gifts is. Is it true that your partner, Anton dolan asked you at one point, albeit he was a homosexual, I know, but he asked you to marry him didn't he gave resources devoted to me and he knew he could rely on me anything good or bad I mean and were never tried,
believing that sometimes we have to try to help each other. You know few went to wear anything. The public never knew. but the bottom line in all of this, it seems to me, is that you have never loved anyone or any thing as much as you love, ballet and music, the problems that could be, Because the music got me to sue you retard nearly half your life ago. Now well that you and I made injustice, guys shackles, He realized that it was my performances, I'd retired from, but when within the weak irish director of the match, fallen not
new york shakes thanks, your dear god. He just cited. Follow me now. Your next record is some something called palermo. Eighteen, thirty! Why do you want that? about that one. When I had the valero team, Sir TE made for me, I said I need a variation from my things and, if possible, given I want to show some thing in letters different and I said, jumping okay, so that was why we arrived at below eighteen, thirty,
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that was a london symphony orchestra playing that for you there that was bellair, o eighteen, thirty arranged by James o turner and conducted by richard boning. You know day militia people almost. I think like to think that all those decades on your toes mean that you ve got terrible bunyan's. Arthritis. Now I don't see any sign of that in your feet or anywhere else all yours supple, as ever your car, make sure when I take right by letter, eight or ten years that they monsieur- and I say it goes like this- the latter, your arms around no return mean look at this age. You see and hear your neck escape yes, engine the more name by night
my eyes, and I look haiti, HU hashtag. Thank you to god. I'm still here, Tell me about your last record. This is marian Anderson, singing softly awakes, my heart irish, in new york at the way has said that this review cheerful thought. I need that yeah, the the
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or armchair ballet going on here to Marian Anderson, singing softly awakes, my heart from sensors, simpson and eliza, and that was recorded in nineteen thirty, not if you could only take one of those, records to your island day militia, which one would you take MIKE you look so shocked. Were that to me is very beautiful: lush run what Your book? Because we give you the bible and we give you the complete works of shakespeare? I think you know that I really think it fine, incubate there on my own, I, like speaking of deregulation, baker, it's fun alone there. I will he reminded of that great gentlemen, who gave me my life really bringing me to today And all the other wonderful great pain,
in my life, speaking of douglas by John drummond, and what about your luxury, my luxury, I think, for a person whose dont stood out and had to push by lot. so I always felt chair perfume, would be very good to have. It was still order made for me, and cause knowing wonderful, day militia. Mark of a thank you very much indeed for letting his here. Your desert island discs its spring. A great pressure doing this with you,
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Transcript generated on 2023-02-18.