Ann Jenner (b. 1944)

At home, London
28 November 1976

Born in Surrey to amateur ballroom dancers, Jenner started dancing in childhood when, purportedly, she would lock herself in the sitting room to listen to ballet music. She enrolled in the Royal Ballet School and went on to become a Principal Dancer in 1970, performing the classical ballet repertoire.

‘I took a tremendous number of pictures…photographing her both in sweater and skirt and in a ballet costume’, Schwartz recollected. Here she selected ‘a peasant type costume’ from a ballet that was ‘one of her favorites in which she has the lead.’ In the 1970s, Jenner performed the lead role of Lise, the farmer’s wayward daughter, in Frederick Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardée (‘The Poorly Guarded Girl’) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a role for which she is still remembered today. The animated pose Jenner adopts in the photograph is taken directly from a scene in that ballet.

Photo © National Portrait Gallery, London

Photo © National Portrait Gallery, London