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The Invitation to the Ballet exhbition opened to the general public at the Lowry yesterday. It is a celebration of the history of the Royal Ballet companies from the early life of Ninette de Valois to the present day. It is absolutely spectacular. Yesterday I spent two sessions of about 40 minutes in the exhibition and have still not done it justice.

I particularly liked the first room with its de Valois memorabilia from family photographs to notes from admirers. It melds with the Diaghalev exhibition in London in that de Valois features in both.

Within the chronologically laid out exhibition there are photographs and other printed memorabilia, costumes, a mock-up of Fonteyn's dressing room and some short films that I have not yet had a chance to watch.

I think the exhibition really brings out what a remarkable lady de Valois was and what a huge debt the British ballet-going public owes her.

Entry to the exhibition is free and it is on until 6th March. I would recommend allowing 2-3 hours for a visit and perhaps combining it with a performance. BRB are performing their new production of Cinderella there from 19-22 January.

Here is a link to the mini-site: http://www.thelowry.com/event/invitation-to-the-ballet'>http://www.thelowry.com/event/invitation-to-the-ballet

Here is the link to the Lowry'a main site: http://www.thelowry.com/

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