who is Ken Ludden


Ken Ludden is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet, Lead Trustee of the Fonteyn-Leung Educational Trust, and Director of Fonteyn Fine Arts International.  He has more than 4 dozen books in print about ballet and other subjects, and is a choreographer and teacher. MFAB has programs in South Africa, Latvia, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, England and Japan.

Ludden took his first dance classes at the age of 3. He went on to study and excel in ballet, and at the age of 15 met Dame Margot Fonteyn. The next year Fonteyn arranged for Ludden to live with her mother, Hilda Hookham, in London and study at the Royal Ballet School, and soon after was moved to company class with the Royal Ballet Company as a student, not a company member.

Ludden began dancing professionally at 18 and had an international career. During that time, he developed a dance partnership with American ballerina Sallie Wilson, and the two had four ballets created for them, which they toured around the world. Ludden also choreographed ballets starting at age 18.

In 1978, he founded Summergate Dance Theater to provide professional stage artists work during their off-season weeks. In 1982, the company became National Arts Group, and the company performances became known as Les Ballets du Monde. Ludden still directs both groups and continues to provide performance opportunities to dancers from all over the world.

Ludden’s work with Fonteyn had many facets, including teaching her private classes with Nureyev and guests they invited. They worked on productions, both on stage and off, and joined efforts in some writing projects and creation of ballet class accompaniment albums. Ludden is the only person to whom Fonteyn gave written permission for the use of her name, and together they created the Academy Method of teaching, and co-founded The Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet.

His directing credits include: the Stadttheater Luzern Ballet Company, Les Ballets du Monde, the Kennedy Center Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev, Mary Go-Round (a television pilot), AIDS Theater Festival Productions, the US Memorial Service for Dame Margot Fonteyn, and assistant director (to Frank Rizzo) of the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and many others. He has choreographed over 100 ballets, and as a choreographer was the US offering in the first cultural exchange with the USSR in 1989.

In 2018, Ludden celebrated 50 years of teaching classical ballet. He has taught and coached many leading dancers including Principals of the Boston Ballet, ABT, Donetsk Ballet, Moscow Festival Ballet, Kirov Ballet Soloists, and individual leading artists.  Currently, he works regularly with 50 dancers, each a principal dancer or top soloist in a major ballet companies around the world.