wed 17/07/2024

Frederick Ashton

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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British ballet's secret weapon, funny and dangerous

You hear the names of the princes and romantic heroines in ballet, but the global success of 20th-century British ballet had much to do with its dramatic acuity and nuancing, the unexpected side characters who in the ballets of Ashton and MacMillan...

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Ashton's Romeo and Juliet, London Coliseum

Like planets crossing in the skies, light years apart, but by some ocular illusion coinciding, this conjunction of the two most thrilling young Bolshoi stars in the world and Frederick Ashton’s rarely staged Romeo and Juliet really must be seen....

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Interview Special: Bolshoi Dancers Natalia Osipova & Ivan Vasiliev

“What I love about her is her emotion, her true emotion. She’s a ball of energy and emotion all together, quite an amazing thing. From the first time I saw her, I thought I want her to be my girlfriend.” Ivan Vasiliev, the young Bolshoi Ballet...

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The Place Prize for Dance/ Cinderella, Royal Ballet

It Needs Horses: A black-comedy duo for scraggy clown and louche trapezist - the audience choice

Reports of ballet’s death are greatly exaggerated, but I’m not equally sanguine about the craft of choreography. Having sat dumbstruck through the four limping dogs masquerading as finalists in The Place’s prize “for dance” [sic] on Tuesday, I...

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DVD: The Tales of Beatrix Potter

Pigling Bland (Alexander Grant) and his Berkshire sweetheart (Brenda Last) join in the animal tarantella

Forty years ago, my childhood self wasn't in the least bored by Frederick Ashton's balletic animal magic: I saw it twice in cinemas large and small and asked for the soundtrack LP of John Lanchbery's masterly Victorian-potpourri ballet score for my...

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Sylvie Guillem, Ballerina in Evolution

The phenomenal French ballerina Sylvie Guillem (b. 1965) has always been a modern woman, for all her classical ballerina dress. She joined the Royal Ballet in 1989 from Nureyev's Paris Opera Ballet, on terms of strictest independence, hardly saying...

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Last Dance: Why Our Best Ballets Are Slowly Dying

Sir Frederick Ashton, Britain's unrivalled genius at creating ballets, had a simple attitude towards posterity. "You've heard his famous remark, 'Fuck posterity'?" says his nephew, Anthony Russell-Roberts, smiling but eyeing me apprehensively.Ashton...

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