Monica Mason: A Life with The Royal Ballet

Cloakroom Corridor area of the Monica Mason: A Life with The Royal Ballet exhibition. Image © ROH CollectionsWhen: 27 February-17 July 2012
Where: Carriage Entranceway, Foyer Link, Cloakroom Corridor, Amphitheatre Gallery and Bar

Download the Exhibition Trail Guide (PDF 2.07MB)

This exhibition pays tribute to Monica Mason in her final Season as Director of The Royal Ballet. Twenty costumes, over 80 photographs plus items lent by Mason herself celebrate her extraordinary achievements both as a dancer and as a member of the ballet staff in her 54 years with The Royal Ballet.

The costumes on display illustrate her range as a dancer, from classical roles to ballets by the Company's choreographers Frederick Ashton and Kenneth MacMillan, to works by other seminal twentieth century choreographers including Bronislava Nijinska, Antony Tudor and Jerome Robbins. The earliest costume is for one of the six princesses or fiancées in Act III of Le Lac des cygnes designed by Leslie Hurry, which Mason first wore on 4 December 1958, five months after she joined the Company. Mason enjoyed a strong creative partnership with Kenneth MacMillan and visitors to the exhibition will be able to see costumes for her created MacMillan roles including the first, The Chosen Maiden in The Rite of Spring in 1962, as well as Lescaut's Mistress in Manon in 1974, 'Calliope Rag' in Elite Syncopations in 1976, and her last created MacMillan role, Nursey in Isadora in 1981.

If you are planning to visit the exhibition during daytime opening, please ring 020 7304 4000 the day before to check that exhibition areas are open.


Exhibition tours are held on selected days at 11 o'clock. Please check with the Box Office or for further details.


Conservation of Monica Mason's costume for the fiancée in Le Lac des cygnes generously supported by The London Ballet Circle.