mon 30/11/2020

Frederick Ashton

Quatrain/Kin./Les Rendezvous, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Crescent Theatre

It is proof, as if more were needed, of how very right-on Birmingham Royal Ballet’s director David Bintley is, that he chose to open the International Dance Festival currently taking place in that city with two specially commissioned ballets...

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Rhapsody/Tetractys/Gloria, The Royal Ballet

Is it odd that, in a bill containing an achingly contemporary première and a classic meditation on the First World War, a pastel-painted present for the Queen Mother’s birthday should race away with the honours?Not if it was by Frederick Ashton, the...

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Sylvie Guillem on resurrecting Marguerite & Armand

There's grand larceny afoot in the Royal Opera House. Two of today's stars are stealing Fonteyn and Nureyev's signature ballet, and they're leaving some spectators' cherished beliefs shattered in pieces around them. On Thursday, for the last time,...

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La Valse/ Monotones/ Marguerite & Armand, Royal Ballet

Genius does not mean having no influences. Monotones, one of the very greatest of Frederick Ashton's ballets, is heavily influenced by other works: by George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations and Apollo, by Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère. And it in...

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The Composer and the Water-Nymph: Hans Werner Henze's Ondine

Hans Werner Henze, the composer who died on Saturday aged 86, wrote the music for one of Margot Fonteyn's signature ballets, Ondine, a ballet about an inhuman spirit who longs to be joined to a man - but when she does, he must die. It might almost...

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Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Grand Tour/ Faster/ The Dream, Sadler's Wells

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s second triple bill at Sadler’s Wells this week is aptly titled "Autumn Celebration", acknowledging the season’s diverse weather through eclectic, light-hearted programming.Joe Layton’s The Grand Tour is a nostalgic 1971...

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Birthday Offering/ A Month in the Country/ Les Noces, Royal Ballet

A birthday offering, a wedding celebration - with that, and one further creative collaboration ahead, Dame Monica Mason makes her farewell as director of the Royal Ballet after 10 years. The last programme of favourites from the store cupboard must...

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The Royal Ballet, 2012-13 Season

World premieres, new faces, lower ticket prices (and the first recycled opera production). The Royal Opera House announced a bullish attitude today as it enters the austerity post-Olympics period for next season with six ballet  premieres and...

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Daphnis & Chloë/ The Two Pigeons, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome

There must be a protest movement going on in Birmingham’s ballet against London’s - if down south they insist on Kenneth MacMillan’s box-office blasters, so in the Midlands it’s Frederick Ashton’s more fragile work that reigns. BRB director David...

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La Fille Mal Gardée, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler's Wells

It may be that there is no sunnier place than Ashton’s La fille mal gardée. Certainly there is no sunnier ballet. It speaks not of great drama, nor ecstasy, but instead of gentle happiness, of quiet content and loving kindness. Not, one might think...

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Limen/Marguerite & Armand/Requiem, Royal Ballet

The cool physical activity of McGregor’s Limen, the crimson passions of Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand, the symbolic sculpture of MacMillan’s Requiem - the weekend's new triple bill at Covent Garden shows three faces of British ballet-making over...

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Late run to preserve genius's works

Death concentrates the mind wonderfully, as they say. In the wake of the demise last week of Alexander Grant, who owned the choreographer Frederick Ashton's world-wide hit ballet La fille mal gardée, the Royal Ballet has announced that it is...

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