Adeline Genée in High Jinks at the Empire Theatre

Adeline Genée in High Jinks at the Empire Theatre

For 12 years from 1897, Adeline Genée starred in the ballets at the Empire Theatre in London. Ballet had not been popular since the decline of the Romantic Ballet in the 1850s, but Genée restored it to public favour. A superb dancer, pretty, blonde and charming, she was idolised by the public. As the first president of the Royal Academy of Dance she later helped establish ballet in Britain.

Genée's hunting solo in the ballet High Jinks was one of her most popular dances. She danced both hunter and hunted, depicting the exhilaration of the rider and the nimbleness of the pursued fox. The designer Wilhelm meticulously recreated a riding habit for her, but Genée objected to the accurate but uncomfortable woollen breeches. She got her way and had them changed to silk.