Ninette de Valois (1898-2001) Director of the Vic-Wells Ballet, later known as Saddler's Wells Ballet Widely regarded as the 'godmother' of English ballet. One of the most influential figures in the history of ballet. Established The Royal Ballet, one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century and one of the leading ballet companies in the world today. Established the Birmingham Royal Ballet and Royal Ballet School. Founder of the Academy of Choreographic Art.