Tag Archives: Sir Frederick Ashton

PALACE OPERA AND BALLET :  ROYAL BALLET PRESENTS AN ASHTON TRIPLE BILL

 

As part of the Palace Opera and Ballet season, celebrating 70 years at the Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet brings it season to a close with a tribute to its founder choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton.

The tribute comprised a marvellous triple bill featuring The Dream (1964), based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the non-narrative work Symphonic Variations (1946) to music by Franck (Ashton’s first work after World War 2), and then finally the 1963 passionate, tempestuous Marguerite and Armand (1963), based on La Dame Aux Camellias, created for the legendary partnership of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev to a Lizst sonata.

This particular performance also marks the retirement from the stage of principal Zenaida Yanowsky and at the end we see the extended curtain calls and appearances by several of her leading men who have partnered her over the years in various roles.

Opening the program was a delightful revival of The Dream. The forest clearing set was enchanting and beautifully lit, the Mendelssohn music gloriously played by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under the energetic baton of Emmanuel Plasson with the London Oratory Junior Choir giving a fine performance. The fairies were absolutely enchanting. Continue reading PALACE OPERA AND BALLET :  ROYAL BALLET PRESENTS AN ASHTON TRIPLE BILL

The Australian Ballet in The Dream @ The Joan Sutherland Theatre Sydney Opera House

TheAust-BMonoAAAAn alternative title for this programme might be  ‘Three Ashton Masterpieces’. Here were three landmark works by the great British choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton including the Australian Ballet premiere of ‘ Symphonic Variations’.

First on the bill was the elegant, sculptural and, at times, very demanding ‘Monotones 11’ for a trio of dancers in very revealing long sleeved white unitards and bejewelled caps. It was full of Ashton’s trademark line, shimmering simplicity and refined abstraction, – distilled cool, pure movement.

Satie’s languid yet passionate music pulses and ripples – are the dancers alien beings ? snow? feathers ? They float through the music in Ashton’s acrobatic , at times very difficult ,choreography. At times I caught allusions to his ‘Les Patineurs’ and also possibly Balanchine. Continue reading The Australian Ballet in The Dream @ The Joan Sutherland Theatre Sydney Opera House