"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.

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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Full interview videos and transcripts also available upon request.

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