Adeline Genée’s style of dance suited the light-hearted nature of music hall ballet. She made her first appearance in London at the Empire Theatre in 1897 and was its star for ten years.

Trained by her uncle in Denmark, she danced in his touring ballet company as a child. When she came to London she had already danced as guest ballerina at the opera houses in Munich and Berlin. It is as Swanilda in Coppélia that she is best remembered. Her style and technique were said to have been near perfection, and she was responsible for ballet becoming very popular in London. Diaghilev saw her dance in 1911, and was so impressed that he offered her a contract to dance with his company, but she declined.