Darcey Bussell exhibition 2014

Darcey Bussell: From Student to Star of The Royal Ballet

Darcey Bussell dancing the title role in The Royal Ballet’s 2004 production of Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia. The dress she is wearing is displayed as part of the exhibition. Photo: Bill CooperThis new exhibition at White Lodge Museum, charts Darcey Bussell’s life as the nation’s favourite ballerina, from her days as a young student of The Royal Ballet School, illustrated by records from The Royal Ballet School Collections, to her triumphant career with The Royal Ballet.

The exhibition, which runs until December 2014, features photographs and exquisite costumes from Darcey’s personal collection, including her Princess Rose dress from Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet, The Prince of the Pagodas (1989), in which she was made a Principal of The Royal Ballet, aged just 20; as well as the tunic she wore for her last performance with the Company in 2007, performing in MacMillan’s masterly interpretation of Mahler’s Song of the Earth. Also, the magnificent tutu she wore in the Royal Opera House revival of Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia (2004).

Displays include some rare film footage and artefacts, including a plaster-cast of Darcey’s foot ‘on pointe’, made by the craftsmen of Madame Tussaud’s when preparing the waxwork of the ballerina, and a preparatory sketch made by Allen Jones for his portrait of Darcey, commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in 1994.

This intimate exhibition has been extended by popular demand and will now close on Thursday 18 December.

Watch students interview Darcey about her life and career:

Book your visit

Entrance is free, but visitors must book in advance because White Lodge is a working school.

Please complete the booking form or contact us:

t: +44 (0)20 8392 8440 – option 7 e: museum@royalballetschool.org.uk.

Please note: Visits to White Lodge Museum do not include viewing The Royal Ballet School students in training.

Opening times

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 1.30-3.30pm during term time. Alternative visiting hours may be arranged for groups of 10-30 people.

Darcey Bussell CBE visits the exhibition, May 2014. Photo: Brian Slater