We are exploring dance concepts to celebrate the formidable Dame Ninette de Valois and the infamous Lola Montez. Don't be deceived by their exotic stage names, they were Irish women.
Born Edris Stannus, Dame Ninette was the founder and director of the Royal Ballet. Her first dance was an Irish jig at the age of 7 in her hometown of Blessington, Co. Wicklow.
The Sligo woman Marie Gilbert aka Lola Montez danced her way around the world with only three dances in her repertoire. 'The Spider' was her notorious signature dance, captivating audiences as she danced to coax an imaginary tarantula from her underskirts. An enigmatic character, she was the ruin of many men and the instigator of deathly duals and wars.