A free exhibition of memorabilia from Darcey Bussell’s career is to open at the Royal Ballet School’s museum in west London this summer.
It will feature photographs and costumes from Bussell’s personal collection, including her Princess Rose costume from Kenneth MacMillan’s 1989 production of The Prince of the Pagodas – after which she was made a principal of the Royal Ballet at the age of 20.
The tunic she wore for her final performance with the company in the 2007 production of MacMillan’s Song of the Earth will be on show, as will her tutu from the revival of Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia in 2004.
Also on display will be film footage and artefacts such as a plaster-cast of Bussell’s foot en pointe used for a waxwork, and a sketch by artist Allen Jones as preparation for his 1994 portrait of the ballerina for the National Portrait Gallery.
The exhibition, called Darcey Bussell: from Student to Star of The Royal Ballet, from May 6 to October 30.
It will mark the fifth anniversary of the Royal Ballet School’s White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre in Richmond – claimed to be the first dedicated ballet museum in the UK.
Bussell said: “These objects are so meaningful for me because each evokes memories of particular moments in my life as a dancer; from my first Royal Ballet School reports, to the costumes I wore in my performances on stage at the Royal Opera House.”
She added: “I hope this exhibition will also hold some fond memories for those who have followed my career, and show the new generation of young dancers that, with hard work, they too can achieve their goals.”