Life and career
Skeaping toured as a dancer with the companies of Anna Pavlova (1925) and Nemchinova-Dolin. She was ballet mistress for Sadlers Wells Ballet from 1948–52 and ballet master of the Royal Swedish Ballet of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm in 1953-1962.
She directed the dance sequences for the film The Little Ballerina in 1948. Responsible for the first four-act ballet production on BBC-TV, Swan Lake in 1951, she mounted a new production of Giselle for London Festival Ballet in 1971. For the Royal Ballet's 'Ballet for All' she created The Loves of Mars and Venus.
Her tenure as ballet master in Stockholm was a very active period for the Swedish ballet; Mary Skeaping's aim was to revitalize the Swedish ballet and to reinstate the status it had during the 18th century, and she is considered to have succeeded well with her task. She also researched in the history of the Swedish ballet. She was acknowledged as an authority on the technique of the ballet de cour.
Skeaping was awarded the MBE in 1958 and Order of Gustav Vasa in 1961.