A Life with The Royal Ballet

Famous dancers photographed by ex-dancer and celebrated photographer Colin Jones

Photographic Exhibition until 1 March 2015 at Proud Galleries

The Royal Ballet ex-dancer and celebrated British photographer Colin Jones, bought his first camera while running an errand for Dame Margot Fonteyn.

As a dancer Jones was obsessed about capturing his work life. Jones photographed his fellow dancers both on and off stage – his close friendships with people such as Rudolf Nureyev, Dame Ninette de Valois and Lynn Seymour, allowed him to document the golden era of The Royal Ballet with delicacy and candour.

English National Ballet - Hong Kong; 1999 © Colin Jones
English National Ballet – Hong Kong; 1999 © Colin Jones

Jones was born in 1936, the son of an East London printer, and when he was sixteen the Festival Ballet came to his school to recruit new dancers.

He was a naturally talented dancer and, with encouragement from his ballet teacher, applied for and won a coveted scholarship to The Royal Ballet School in 1953.

However, he deferred his place for one year due to National Service, before finally joining the school in 1954 where he would spend the next ten years.

By chance, this was same time that choreographer Kenneth MacMillan was creating some of his most pivotal and controversially new ballets, inspired by the young ballerina Lynn Seymour, whom Jones later married.

But it was whilst on tour in Australia in 1958 that Jones bought his first camera while running an errand for Dame Margot Fonteyn.

The Royal Ballet; Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev doing a class before performing Swan Lake at the Nervi Festival - Di Levante, Italy; 1962 © Colin Jones
The Royal Ballet; Margot Fonteyn and
Rudolph Nureyev doing a class before
performing Swan Lake at the Nervi Festival –
Di Levante, Italy; 1962
© Colin Jones

The photographic exhibition of Colin Jones’ work features never-before seen vintage prints, this intimate photographic portrait, taken over the past fifty years, presents a unique and extraordinary perspective of life with the world’s most famous and fêted ballet company.

Following the phenomenal critical and public acclaim received by 2011’s Fifty Years of The Royal Ballet, this exhibition documents life with the Royal Ballet, captured with marvellous intimacy and wit.

Exhibition 29 January – 1 March 2015

Proud Galleries

161 King’s Road London SW3 5XP

Images courtesy of Proud Galleries © Colin Jones

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