Invitation to the Ballet draws the crowds

21 October 2010

The opening weekend of Hemisphere’s new exhibition, Invitation to the Ballet, has resulted in The Lowry’s largest ever weekend visitor figures for the venue’s gallery spaces, surpassing even the opening of the recent high profile exhibition by Spencer Tunick.

This landmark exhibition pays tribute to one of the towering figures of twentieth-century ballet, Ninette de Valois, and is the most comprehensive exhibition about The Royal Ballet ever staged. It tells de Valois’ remarkable story, from her beginnings impersonating Anna Pavlova in English seaside pier theatres to becoming the founder of one of the world’s leading dance companies. Costumes worn by some of the greatest names in ballet, from Darcey Bussell to Margot Fonteyn, are shown alongside photographs, films and set designs, plus rarely seen sketches from LS Lowry inspired by the ballet Coppélia.

Hemisphere’s creative director, Grant Windridge, comments, "Using elements of set design from The Royal Ballet’s superb collections, we’ve created what we hope visitors will find to be a fascinating journey through the context and history of the organisation from its initial founding right up to the present day. Highlights include the display of over 50 remarkable historic costumes, and a recreation of Dame Margot Fonteyn’s dressing room, complete with make-up cases and personal letters".

Hemisphere has also designed the associated marketing campaign materials to attract visitors to the exhibition, including press adverts, posters, banners and programmes.

Click here to view The Lowry's video of the installation of the exhibition. Channel 4 News also visited The Lowry in the run up to the opening of the exhibition, and you can see their report here. Ballet Magazine gives the show a glowing review here.