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Monica Parker was born in Axminster, Devonshire, England and started dancing at the age of ten in a school in Exeter. Six years later she entered The Royal Ballet Upper School where she studied for two years. During this time she became particularly interested in Benesh Dance Notation, which she was studying with Joan Benesh, the wife of Rudolf Benesh who invented the system, and in the second year of her studies at The Royal Ballet School she began to teach notation.
Four years after her graduation, in 1965, Miss Parker was invited to assist Joan Benesh in the setting up of the Institute of Choreology, where she worked for two years before joining Kenneth MacMillan at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin as Principal Dance Notator. When Sir Kenneth was appointed Director of The Royal Ballet in 1970, he invited her to transfer to that company where she has since been based, as Principal Dance Notator. She has recorded and reconstructed numerous works for the company during this period, with a concentration on those by Sir Kenneth, and has also reconstructed works for a host of major dance companies around the world.
Following the death of Rudolf Benesh in 1975, Miss Parker was appointed Principal of the Institute of Choreology and subsequently Director. She continues to work as Notator with The Royal Ballet, mainly on the MacMillan ballets. She has worked all over the world, restaging works from The Royal Ballet’s repertoire for other companies: Manon in Stockholm for the Royal Swedish Ballet; Concerto for American Ballet Theatre, Peter Wright’s production of Giselle for the Houston Ballet, Concerto and Anastasia, Act III for the Stuttgart Ballet, Voluntaries for the Royal Danish Ballet, The Four Seasons for the Paris Opera Ballet, Elite Syncopations for the National Ballet of Canada, and excerpts from Giselle and The Sleeping Beauty in Shanghai.
Her work for the Institute has included the teaching of and lectures on the Benesh Movement Notation in Australia, Canada, China and Hong Kong, and she has also represented the Institute at major conferences around the world. She has co-authored two books on dance notation: Dance Notation for Beginners and “Benesh: the Notation of Dance” IMAGES AND UNDERSTANDING.