In pre-World War I England, a frail Jewish girl is diagnosed with flat feet, knock knees, and weak legs. In short order, Lilian Alicia Marks would become a dance prodigy, the cherished baby ballerina of Sergei Diaghilev, and the youngest ever soloist at his famed Ballets Russes. It was there that George Balanchine choreographed his first ballet for her, Henri Matisse designed her costumes, and Igor Stravinsky taught her music—all when the re-christened Alicia Markova was just 14. Given unprecedented access to Dame Markova’s intimate journals and correspondence, Tina Sutton paints a full picture of the dancer’s astonishing life and times in 1920s Paris and Monte Carlo, 1930s London, and wartime in New York and Hollywood. Ballet lovers and readers everywhere will be fascinated by the story of one of the twentieth century’s great artists.
Tina Sutton is currently a fashion, features and arts writer for The Boston Globe and has been a writer,researcher, and journalist for over thirty years. She also researches and writes material for museum and art catalogs and the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.