Shoes, coups and tutus: A new exhibition reveals the story of The Royal Ballet
Friday 22 October 2010
Things can get far more dangerous for ballerinas in The Royal Ballet than jaw-dropping ballet lifts. Not only was Margot Fonteyn involved in a plot with Fidel Castro to overthrow Panama's government in 1959, thrown into prison for 24 hours (and apparently given fresh flowers everyday), but she was also locked into the hold of a boat in 1940, while escaping from the Germans, during a Royal Ballet tour of Holland.
A new exhibition, Invitation to the Ballet: Ninette de Valois and the story of The Royal Ballet, charts the company since the late 1920s to the present day. It is the largest Royal Ballet exhibition outside of London, and is hosted by the Lowry in Salford, where it pays tribute to The Royal Ballet's founder Ninette de Valois, formerly a dancer with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, who went on to found not just The Royal Ballet, but also the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School.
Rehearsal and backstage photographs include the ballerina Anya Linden mending her ballet shoes on the side of the stage, whilst performing Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Agon in 1958. Fonteyn's Firebird tutu in 1954, as well as the Royal Ballet's first ballerina Alicia Markova's Giselle tutu from 1948, are displayed. There are some unseen LS Lowry drawings, which are thought to be influenced by his love of ballet.
Even Fonteyn's former dressing room at the Royal Opera House is recreated, complete with her Odette tutu from the 1952 production of Swan Lake, as well as make-up, a mascot, pink silk ballet tights and her monogrammed travelling case.
From 23 October (www.thelowry.com)
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate