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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 December, 2004, 18:15 GMT
Ballerina Markova is remembered
Dame Alicia Markova
Dame Alicia Markova: prima ballerina
The funeral of one of the greatest known ballerinas, Dame Alicia Markova, was held on Wednesday.

The dancer and founder of the English National Ballet died aged 94 on 2 December. She was hailed as "the true Prima Ballerina Absoluta".

Around 70 mourners in Bath remembered her for her grace, her love of children and her enthusiasm for teaching.

Dame Alicia was born Lillian Alicia Marks, and founded the English National Ballet with Sir Anton Dolin in 1950.

Vivienne Haskell, Dame Alicia's younger sister, said: "She was the greatest. She was a wonderful sister but something miraculous happened when she was performing.

Markova teaching
Markova passed on her skills

"She was so graceful in the way she moved. She made it look easy."

Dame Alicia, the eldest of four sisters, took up ballet as a little girl after a doctor advised it as a remedy to strengthen weakened limbs.

The English National Ballet's artistic director Matz Skood said Dame Alicia was "one of the first truly athletic ballerinas".

"She represents a major part of 20th century ballet history.

"For dancers who grew up in this century she has been part of their upbringing, training and career.

"She represented an era of ballet history and her memory will live on."

Among mourners were Janie Grace, managing director of The English National Ballet, John Talbot, chairman and Malcolm Goddard who performed alongside Dame Alicia in her famous performance of Giselle.

A spokesman for the English National Ballet said a spring tour in 2005 of Giselle would be dedicated to Dame Alicia.

Ballet dancer Markova dies at 94
02 Dec 04 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Dame Alicia Markova
02 Dec 04 |  Entertainment

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