The Making of Markova

The Making of Markova: An Exhibition from her Archive

Employing personal and professional photographs, correspondence, and colorful programs, this exhibition documents the life and career of one of the finest classical prima ballerinas of the 20th century, Alicia Markova.

The exhibition begins with photographs from her childhood dance training, first at Miss Thorne's Academy, then with Princess Serafine Astafieva, where she caught the eye of dance impresario, Sergei Diaghilev. The exhibition then depicts Markova's work with the Ballets Russes Company, with Markova introduced to an international audience when she began to work with international artists such as George Balanchine, Leonide Massine, Henri Matisse, and her long-time partner Anton Dolin. The exhibition follows Markova to the United States in the 1940s, as she danced at Jacob's Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts, and served at the Stage Door Canteen in New Orleans during World War II. In 1950, Markova co-founded the Festival Ballet, which became the English National Ballet. Finally, the exhibition documents her post-performance career as Director of the Opera Ballet for the Metropolitan Opera in New York in the early 1960s, inspiring and teaching scores of new young dancers. Correspondence on exhibition includes letters from actress Vivien Leigh, Princess Diana, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

This exhibition is no longer on view.