The Glory of English Ballet
PUBLISHED: 10:45 28 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:46 20 February 2013
Distinguished British photographer Colin Jones, himself once a dancer with the Royal Ballet, is about to show his work at the TopFoto Gallery in north Edenbridge...
Dame Beryl Grey, one of our greatest ballerinas, is to open the exhibition to an invited audience, in advance of its opening to the public on 18 July.
The exhibition is the result of a lifetime of photographing the English National Ballet and other great companies. As a young dancer in the Royal Ballet, Colin Jones bought his first camera whilst running an errand for Margot Fonteyn, and never looked back. When he was offered a top job photographing for the Observer newspaper, at a time when it was the great leader of photo-journalism, he was generously released from his just-renewed Royal Ballet contract by Ninette de Valois.
Ballet dancers are athletes; the strength and poise to get that magical lightness is to Olympic level. The photographs are everything that ballet represents. They have a luminous intensity and beauty, and they do not shield the viewer from the self-discipline and relentless hard work that is required to get to the top of world ballet.
The portraits are not only of the earlier greats Nureyev, Grey, Fonteyn but also of contemporary dancers such as the sublime Tamara Rojo, who has just electrified 10,000 people at the O2 arena, dancing Juliet to Carlos Acostas Romeo.
Not to be missed.
Exhibition 18 July-26 August. Free entry; free parking; shop. 09.30-5pm Mon-Fri; 09.30-1pm Sat. Tel: 01732 863 939