10 April 2012 at 11.35am | 3 Comments
Monica Mason is to receive a special award at this year's Olivier Awards, to be held on 15 April at the Royal Opera House.
The Director of The Royal Ballet receives the award in recognition for her huge influence on theatre and the arts over the course of her career.
Monica retires as Director of The Royal Ballet this summer, to be succeeded by Kevin O'Hare. In a career that has spanned half a century with the company, she has worked as both a dancer and in an administrative capacity.
The South African dancer joined The Royal Ballet in 1958 as the youngest member of the corps de ballet before rising to the rank of Principal, acclaimed for her interpretations of major roles including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. She also famously created the demanding role of the Chosen Maiden in Kenneth MacMillan’s The Rite of Spring. On retiring from dancing, she joined the Company’s administrative staff, becoming Director of The Royal Ballet in 2002.
Her career is the focus of the current Royal Opera House Collections exhibition.
The awards ceremony will be relayed live to big screens in the Covent Garden piazza as well as being broadcast online on the Olivier Awards website, Red Button service and BBC Radio 2. Coverage starts at 5.30pm on Sunday 15 April.