Open Access Articles- Top Results for Monica Mason

Monica Mason

Monica Mason
File:Royal Ballet editathon, October 2014 03.JPG
Monica Mason, 2014
Born Monica Margaret Mason
(1941-09-06) 6 September 1941 (age 74)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Nationality British
Occupation Ballet dancer and administrator
Title Artistic director of the Royal Ballet
Term 2002-2012
Predecessor Ross Stretton
Successor Kevin O'Hare

Dame Monica Mason DBE (born 6 September 1941) is a former ballet dancer, and artistic director of the Royal Ballet in London from 2002 to 2012.[1]

Early life

Monica Margaret Mason was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1941. A talented dancer, she moved to Britain at the age of 14 to join the Royal Ballet School.

Royal Ballet

At the age of 16, Mason joined the Royal Ballet as the Company's youngest member, and became a principal dancer in 1968. She worked closely with the choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan, who created the roles of Lescaut's Mistress in Manon, Calliope Rag in Elite Syncopations, Summer in The Four Seasons and the Midwife in Rituals for her.

Mason was also given the role of the Chosen Maiden in The Rite of Spring that had been originally created by Diaghilev for Lydia Sokolova in the 1920s. Her last leading role was as Nursey in MacMillan's Isadora in 1981, although she continued to appear in mime roles as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet for some time after that.


Following her retirement as a principal dancer, Mason continued to work for the Royal Ballet company and in 1984 she was appointed Principal Répétiteur to the company. In 1991 she became Assistant Director of the company under Sir Anthony Dowell. Following the company's move to its new headquarters at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden, Mason replaced Dowell's successor, Ross Stretton, as Director in late 2002.[2] She retired from the company in July 2012, having served the company for 54 years.[3]


Mason was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002. In the 2008 Birthday Honours she was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) .


  1. ^ MaCaulay, Alastair. "With Departure, a Ballet Director Comes Into Focus". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Dalya Alberge (19 December 2002). "Dancers' joy over choice of Royal Ballet director". The Times. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  3. ^ name=monica-mason

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