The Ballerina Gallery
Ellen Price
1878 - 1968
Royal Danish Ballet


Photo: Elfelt

Photo: Elfelt

Photo: Elfelt

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Ellen Price was born in Snekkersten, Denmark, in 1878. She came from a family of artists, actors amd dancers. Not only was she one the most important ballerinas of her time, but with her timid charisma and expressive eyes she also became the darling of the Copenhageners. She entered the Royal Danish Ballet School in 1885, where she studied for her uncle Waldemar Price and later for the legendary Hans Beck. She made her debut in 1895 in a Pas de trois in Bournonville's ballet La Ventana and the same year she debuted in role of Effy in La Sylphide. She often partnered Gustav Uhlendorff in the Bournonville repertoire. In 1903 it was time for her to take over the lead role in La Sylphide. She received advice by her aunt Juliette Price who had been a star in the role. The same year she was appointed to principal ballerina (solodanserinde). She also became famous for her role as The Little Mermaid, which inspired sculptor Edvard Eriksen to the creation in 1913 of the world famous statue of The Little Mermaid, admired by millions of Copenhagen tourists. Due to a heart problem she left the ballet stage in 1913 and dedicated herself to acting. She died, almost 90 years old, in Copenhagen in 1968.