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"All the best companies have started with small ballets."

Christine Du Boulay Ellis was born in 1923 in England. After training at Sadler’s Wells School of Ballet, she later joined its company and performed in ballets such as Sleeping Beauty, The Rake’s Progress and Frederick Ashton’s Symphonic Variations. She married fellow dancer Richard Ellis and the two moved to Chicago in 1950. From 1959 to 1972, the Ellises directed the Illinois Ballet, producing classic works including Sir Frederick Ashton's Façade, as well of those by company members Hy Somers and Dom Orejudos. They operated the Ellis-Du Boulay School of Ballet for 40 years.

June 05, 2015: Christine Du Boulay Ellis discusses her extensive dance career and that of her husband, the late Richard Ellis. She reflects on their time dancing with Sadler’s Wells Ballet and their experiences in Europe during World War II. She tells many anecdotes about owning and operating the Ellis-Du Boulay School of Ballet in Chicago for 40 years and recalls works produced by their company, the Illinois Ballet, during its 12-year run.

ellis cutcher christine du boulay Ellis ballet Richard ellis swan lake robert joffrey prodigal son shoes illinois ballet dom orejudos sleeping beauty favorite role adult beginners Robert joffrey great gallon drum impression of chicago couple of season Frederick Ashton preservation of ballet number of class number of people lot of rehearsal drum of gasoline lot of ballet form of dance side of chicago sir frederick Ashton small ballet company things of match world war two  performance tour classical ballet pantomime best story ballet chicago opera ballet studio company dancer chicago time sadler Sadlers wells school children theory class office work charred floor intermediate class p.w. manchester many pirouette fast pace studio space ballet guild Nanette de valois class work ballet notation old teachers art institute edna mcrae Edward  villella demonstration class contemporary company acting quality robert helpmann wonderful  designer chicago symphony royal ruth page fine arts building south Wabash 218 lake street northern theater

a black and white portrait of a caucasian woman dancing in a dress

"That had been Edna McRae's studio, and then it was Ruth Page, and then we took it over, and years later, Joffrey took over the whole floor, and now it's Ballet Chicago."

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