Scope and arrangement
The records of the Royal Academy of Dancing document that organization and much of its work from its beginnings in 1920 as the Association of Operatic Dancing through 1960 (bulk dates 1933-1955). Most of the material consists of correspondence, minutes of meetings, documents, drafts of speeches and reports, schedules of classes and events, and some financial information. The correspondence and documents relating to the application and granting of the Royal Charter are extensive. Correspondence to and from Adeline Genée, the founder-president (known also as “Madame,” “Nina,” or “Mrs. Isitt”), is important and is found throughout the collection. Of interest are the accounts of life in London during World War II in correspondence for the years 1940-1941 in the following series or subseries: II. Correspondence - Genée; VI. Examination Tours - Australasia; and VII. Scholarships.|||In processing the collection, most of the original headings and divisions of the materials have been maintained, along with the original order within the folders. Correspondence is arranged at times alphabetically by correspondent and at times chronologically, generally by year but not always exact as to month and day. A summary of the correspondence in the collection and brief biographical information on 22 correspondents, prepared by Peter Eaton (Booksellers) Ltd., is found in folder 207. There is some duplication and overlapping in the content of series, such as Annual General Meetings (III), which were held during the Special Weeks (IV).
The Royal Academy of Dancing records are arranged in eleven series:
- 1935-19503 folders
The Organization Series (I) contains copies of the petition and Royal Charter, and a 1935 booklet that gives a brief history of the association, its objectives, and an explanation of the examinations, scholarships, and competitions.
- 1916; 1928-195748 folders
The Correspondence Series (II) contains, in addition to the material mentioned above and routine business correspondence, notes from Lilian Baylis, Anton Dolin, J. Maynard Keynes and P.J.S. Richardson in the 1916-1943 subseries. The 1933 Contracts and Correspondence subseries contains correspondence relating to auditions; contracts for dancers including Phyllis Bedells, Claude Newman and Harold Turner; and a casting list, salary list and program synopsis for “The Debutante.” The General subseries contains, for 1934-1938, requests to use various notable names in connection with the formation of the Grand Council and includes notes from Lilian Baylis, Arnold Haskell, J. Maynard Keynes, Sir Malcolm Sargent and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
- 1939-195510 folders
The Annual General Meetings Series (III) contains correspondence pertaining to the meetings; the agenda, minutes and reports of the meetings; drafts and notes for speeches by the president and chairman; balance sheets; schedules for Special Weeks and telegrams of greetings.
- 1939-195518 folders
The Special Weeks Series (IV) contains correspondence pertaining to teachers, judges, the rental of halls, etc.; schedules for classes, events and examinations; notes for speeches by the president and chairman; information on entries for medals and casket competitions; reports and minutes from other committees; balance sheets and telegrams of good wishes. The correspondence includes notes about teaching classes from John Cranko and Lydia Sokolova (1951), Nicholas Beriosoff and Anton Dolin (1952), Tamara Karsavina (1954), and Irina Baronova (1955).
- 1934-196044 folders
The Committees Series (V) contains correspondence relating to the activities of the various committees; agendas, minutes and reports of meetings and financial reports. The Technical subseries contains notes for major examinations (1955) and suggestions by Ninette de Valois for technical revisions (1955-1957).
- 1928-195317 folders
The Examination Tours Series (VI) contains correspondence pertaining to the tours and examinations, minutes of meetings, reports on examinations and financial information. In the Australasia subseries are copies of the rules and regulations and syllabi (1935-1938). In the South Africa subseries there are agreements with examiners and a copy of the 1953 solo seal dances.
- 1933-194324 folders
The Scholarship Series (VII) contains correspondence, lists of entrants, audition notes and decisions by judges, lists of students chosen, signed agreements and evaluations of some students. The correspondence (1933-1938) includes a petition from dissatisfied students and a response from de Valois; letters from John Hart, Ursula Moreton, Alicia Markova and P.J.S. Richardson about choreographic classes (1936-1937); and letters to Genee from de Valois with a proposal for a course of study for the choreographic classes.
- 1946-19494 folders
The Medals and Casket Series (VIII) contains requests to enter the competitions, correspondence pertaining to the judges, lists of contestants and winners of the Adeline Genée Gold and Silver Medals and the Pavlova Casket, judges' notes on contestants, story lines for applicants' character solos and notes for a “male dancer” variation (1946).
- 1939-195324 folders
The Functions Series (IX) contains correspondence relating to various social events, notes of acceptance and regret in response to invitations and some financial information regarding expenditures. The 1939 Ball subseries contains libretti for a pageant; the 1952 Garden Party subseries contains a handwritten note from Moira Shearer about autographing a pair of shoes supposedly made for her for the film The Red Shoes;the 1953 Cocktail Party subseries contains a copy of “A Dancing World,” an address made by Genée to the group.
- 1930-19547 folders
The Gazette Series (X) contains 56 issues of the magazine. [see attached listing of issues]
- 10 folders
The Miscellany Series (XI) contains magazines articles, programs, sheet music for dances, copies of a speech and an interview with Genée, a fragment of shrapnel from a Nazi bomb that came through the roof of the R.A.D. office in 1941, and a summary of correspondence in the collection.