Invitation to the Ballet: Ninette de Valois and the Story of The Royal Ballet
When: 23 October 2010-5 March 2011
Where: The Lowry, Salford, Greater Manchester
This major retrospective exhibition Invitation to the Ballet, Ninette de Valois and the Story of The Royal Ballet, by the Royal Opera House in collaboration with The Lowry in Salford, tells the story of The Royal Ballet from its foundations in the late 1920s and early 1930s until the present day. It begins with the struggles of De Valois herself as a young dancer trying to find training in England where there was no national English ballet school or company unlike Russia, France, Italy and Denmark where ballet had been an established art form for many years. The exhibition follows De Valois and her collaborators step by step as she founds a school, works with Lilian Baylis, attaches the school to the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells Theatres, establishes a company, recruits collaborators, develops dancers and choreographers and builds a repertory. Treasures on display from Royal Opera House Collections include costumes, designs, photographs, letters, music and ballet scores, film and sound. De Valois’ own words, as well as some of her writings read by Jeanetta Laurence, Associate Director of The Royal Ballet, provide the soundtrack for four segments of specially commissioned archive film exploring aspects of De Valois’ journey and legacy over nearly 100 years of ballet in England.
Please contact The Lowry for details of exhibition opening times.
Top image: Entrance area of Invitation to the Ballet: Ninette de Valois and the Story of The Royal Ballet at The Lowry. Image © Ben Blackall
Second row left image: Ninette de Valois: The Early Years exhibition area, and the costume for The Rake for The Rake’s Progress, designed by Rex Whistler. Image © ROH Collections
Second row right image: Recreation of Margot Fonteyn’s dressing room (left), and costume worn by Léonide Massine for Le Tricorne (right), designed by Pablo Picasso. Image © Ben Blackall
Third row image: Gallery of posters from the 1980s and 1990s, leading to costumes for Gloria, designed by Andy Klunder. Image © ROH Collections
Bottom row left image: Gallery showing costumes worn by Miyako Yoshida and Frederico Bonelli for The Nutcracker, designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman. Image © ROH Collections
Bottom row right image: Costumes from the current repertory of The Royal Ballet. Image © ROH Collections