Music: Pirouette & Pageantry

At the end of the prologue to The Sleeping Beauty, New York City's then Mayor William O'Dwyer leaned over into the next Golden Horseshoe box and addressed a duchesslike lady named Ninette de Valois, directress for 20 years of the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company and later Dame of the British Empire. "Lady," said Hizzoner, "you're in."

That was during the first U.S. appearance of Sadler's Wells six years ago—and Sadler's Wells has been in ever since. Last week, back in the U.S. for the fourth time, it was greeted by New Yorkers as an old...

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