Aldous was born in New Zealand, and moved to Sydney as a child, where she began her ballet training. She won a scholarship to London’s Royal Ballet School, and was mentored by star dancer and choreographer Robert Helpmann, who introduced her to Margot Fonteyn at The Royal Ballet.
However, Aldous began her career in Ballet Rambert (then Rambert Dance Company), which she joined in 1957.
She remained as a member of Rambert Dance Company until 1963, appearing in ballets including Giselle, La Sylphide (in the title role), The Lilac Garden, Night Shadow, Façade and Don Quixote, in which she performed Kitri. She also danced with London Festival Ballet.
Aldous danced periodically with The Royal Ballet in the 1950s and 60s, including acclaimed performances as the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty (1959), the title role in Massine’s Mam’zelle Angot and on tour in Ashton’s Monotones I (1968), the Tempter in Geoffrey Cauley’s In the Beginning (1969, on tour to Stratford-upon-Avon) and as the Sugar Plum Fairy alongside Rudolf Nureyev on a European tour of The Nutcracker.
Aldous also appeared with The Royal Opera as the Girl Dancer in Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage in 1968.
Aldous returned to Australia in 1970, where Rudolf Nureyev invited her to dance Kitri to his Basilio in his production of Don Quixote for Australian Ballet, which was subsequently filmed.
She became a Resident Principal Dancer with Australian Ballet (where her many roles included the title roles in Roland Petit’s Carmen and Ashton’s Cinderella) and remained with the company until 1976. After her retirement, she taught at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the Perth School of Ballet. Her daughter, Floeur Alder, also had a career as a dancer. Aldous was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List (January 2018).
(Royal Opera House)