Rosemary Bundy: Royal Ballet dancer and keen Norfolk sailor

A ballerina, Rosemary Bundy, who danced with the leading lights of the Royal Ballet, has died unexpectedly aged 83 at her north Norfolk home.

As a principal dancer with Sadler's Wells Ballet, later the Royal Ballet, she had studied under Dame Ninette de Valois.

In the 1950s and 1960s, she danced with Margot Fonteyn, where she made her name in Les Sylphides, and Alicia Markova. Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan were among her other contemporaries.

She left formal education at 14 and joined Sadler's Wells Ballet School in 1941, which later became the Royal Ballet School, and had to cross London during the Blitz to get to her classes.

After rising from the corps de ballet, when she was filmed by Pathe News at the reopening of the Opera House in 1946, Rosemary Lindsay rapidly gained a reputation for her repertoire and made several leading roles her own. She danced, initially with Sadler's Wells, in Giselle and Cinderella, before it became the Royal Ballet in 1957.

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She married William Bundy, who became technical director of the Royal Opera House and later the National Theatre, in 1958. She left the ballet three years later to raise her daughter, Jocelyn, now a freelance opera stage manager.

But she was invited by the Royal Opera to take part in a 1996 gala production of Sleeping Beauty, which recognised her former role as an 'Aurora' earlier in her career.

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They had moved to Wells in 1989 after Mr Bundy's retirement but he died on Christmas Day, 1991. She became more involved in the Granary Theatre and acted in many roles over the years, which she really enjoyed, and had been planning a production for the new year.

A keen reader, bird-watcher and sailor, she was an expert on the books of Arthur Ransome and was a technical adviser for the 1974 film production of Swallows and Amazons.

In her childhood, she and her brother had sailed in a 10ft clinker dinghy, Tanera, on the Thames, which is now kept at Wells by her daughter, who sails her at Burnham Overy Staithe.

She had been looking forward to helping in the rehearsals of the 'Messiah' at Gresham's School, where her grandson would be singing a solo.

A keen traveller, she has visited countries across the world over the years and always kept herself fully active until the day of her death.

She leaves a daughter, Joss, and grandchildren Charlotte and Christopher. She is survived by her younger brother, Giles, who also lives in Wells.

A funeral service will be held at Mintlyn Crematorium on Wednesday, December 15 at 3.15pm.

Michael Pollitt

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