by Angela Barlow
This website gives an account of the career of Nalda Murilova, who danced with the Diaghilev, Pavlova and Stroganoff ballets.
Born Muriel Barnett, she was given the stage name Nalda Murilova by Serge Diaghilev, when she joined his Ballets Russes in the 1920s.
As a member of the two great Russian ballet companies of the day, she was fortunate enough to work with some of the twentieth century’s most famous dancers – including Pavlova, Novikoff, Karsavina and Dolin.
Later she spent four colourful years with a very different company, the Stroganoff Ballet, until setting up a dance school with her professional partner in Amsterdam. Once war loomed she returned to the UK, where she continued to teach as a freelance; and in 1947 she founded the highly respected Murilova Ballet School, Bournemouth, where she brought the Russian method of ballet to new generations of dancers.
The Murilova Ballet School, now run by one of Madame’s ex-students, is still flourishing.