Mason, Monica (1941–)

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Mason, Monica (1941–)

South African ballet dancer. Born Sept 6, 1941, Johannesburg, South Africa; married and divorced.

Trained early on in Johannesburg, with Ruth Ingelstone, Reina Berman, and Frank Staff; danced in Staff's company as adolescent; moved to England to train at Royal Ballet and soon joined its professional company (1958), performing in both classical repertory and contemporary works; became principal (1967); created roles for Kenneth MacMillan's The Rite of Spring (1962), Manon (1974), The Four Seasons (1975), and Rituals (1975), among others; received acclaim for performances in works by Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering and George Balanchine's Ballet Imperial and Serenade; became head of the Royal Ballet (Dec 2002).