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Darcey Bussell and Tamara Rojo to star in BBC’s ballet season

Darcey Bussell will reveal the ballerinas who have inspired her as part of a major season of programmes on the BBC, which will also include rare footage of Margot Fonteyn in Sleeping Beauty.

The ballet season will be shown across BBC2 and BBC4 and will feature Fonteyn ’59 – Sleeping Beauty, an edited hour of highlights from Fonteyn’s appearance in Sleeping Beauty in 1959. The BBC said it would be the first time viewers have seen extracts from the ballet since its original screening in the 50s. It will be broadcast on BBC4 on March 7.

The season will also include BBC2’s Darcey’s Ballerina Heroines, on March 1. This will show Bussell discussing dancers who have inspired her and will also  explore the “history of the ballerina through the female ballet stars who came before her”.

Meanwhile, Dancing in the Blitz – How WW2 Made British Ballet will be shown on BBC4 on March 5 and will see Birmingham Royal Ballet director David Bintley explore how the Second World War “was the making of British ballet”. It shows how the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, later the Royal Ballet, was formed during the war.

The season will conclude on March 9 with BBC4’s Good Swan, Bad Swan – Dancing Swan Lake, in which English National Ballet artistic director Tamara Rojo will take viewers behind the scenes as she prepares to perform in Swan Lake.

“With unprecedented access, the disarmingly candid Rojo reveals her insights on the role’s physical and psychological challenges,” the BBC said.

BBC2 and 4 controller Janice Hadlow said the season promised to “give viewers a real glimpse behind the scenes of the ballet world”.