Royal Ballet tutus to go on show

Royal Ballet Principal Mara Galeazzi looks at a ballet shoe, part of a recreation of Margot Fonteyn"s dressing room, which will form part of Invitation to the Ballet: Ninette de Valois and the Story of the Royal Ballet The exhibition will feature a recreation of Margot Fonteyn's dressing room

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Costumes worn by Dame Margot Fonteyn and set designs by Picasso are going on display as part of a major exhibition by the Royal Ballet.

The Lowry centre, in Salford, will host the retrospective celebrating the history and future of the company.

Unseen work by LS Lowry, who had a love of ballet, will also go on show.

Plans for a permanent Royal Opera House (ROH) base in neighbouring Manchester, which have been in the pipeline since 2008, are currently on hold.

The ROH had been looking at creating a northern home at the city's Palace Theatre but the plans have been put in ice until there is "greater clarity" over government spending cuts.

Dame Monica Mason, director of the Royal Ballet, said the exhibition - the first to pay tribute to the company's founder, Ninette de Valois - would further strengthen the ROH's links to the area.

Connections

"I am thrilled that we are able to collaborate with The Lowry on such a large scale exhibition, one that not only explores the remarkable achievements and legacy of Ninette de Valois but also illustrates the work of The Royal Ballet through the eight decades of its existence," she said.

Ninette de Valois. Photo Germaine Kanova The exhibition centres on Royal Ballet founder Ninette de Valois

"This partnership with The Lowry enables us to bring the Company and its history to Salford and Manchester where we have so many connections."

The exhibition will tell the story of the Royal Ballet from its foundations in the late 1920s to the present day.

Highlights of the exhibition - titled Invitation to the Ballet: Ninette de Valois and the story of The Royal Ballet - will include a selection of material from De Valois' own ballets including Checkmate, The Rake's Progress, Job and Don Quixote.

It will also feature a recreation of Margot Fonteyn's dressing room as it was at the Royal Opera House with her make-up cases, mascot, shoe darning kit, practice clothes, spare shoe ribbons and the Odette tutu from the 1952 production of Swan Lake.

A large number of never seen before photographs of the Royal Ballet taken over its 80-year history, and including many rehearsal and backstage images, are also featured.

More than 40 items of historic costume will be displayed including those worn by Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Lynn Seymour, Darcey Bussell and Jonathan Cope.

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