This special collection from The Royal Ballet includes nine of Frederick Ashton’s most loved short ballets, which showcase the range of his style. The pure classical perfection of Symphonic Variations is contrasted with the light-hearted exuberance of Voices of Spring. Both are complemented by the passion and drama of Marguerite and Armand and the romance and comedy of The Two Pigeons and The Dream. The collection is completed by Rhapsody, La Valse, Monotones and Méditation from Thaïs, four of the most iconic abstract works created by The Royal Ballet’s founding choreographer.
Introduction to Frederick Ashton · The Ashton Foundation · Introductions to the ballets
Documentaries: Exploring the choreography of The Two Pigeons · Bottom on pointe (The Dream)
Interview with Zenaida Yanowsky (Marguerite and Armand, 2017)
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"...a bill which revealed the variety of the Royal’s founder choreographer from the perfumed sway of La Valse, to the lyrical loveliness of the Thais pas de deux, and the audacious joy of Voices of Spring. Monotones I and II, on the other hand, show his geometric modernism and his ability to conjure a kind of mysterious beauty by the simplest of means... the performances throughout the evening made the choreography look as fresh and important as ever." - The Daily Telegraph
"Frederick Ashton's 1962 ballet is swooningly romantic and unashamedly old fashioned. The Parisian artist's garret setting might be a cliche but the action is alive with invention. What begins as a comic ballet glides imperceptibly into a more serious realm as the two immature lovers come to terms with erotic distraction and locate the adult within themselves. Ashton's birdlike steps, with flapping elbows and nodding heads are sharp and funny at first as the dancers shake a tail feather across the stage before softening and stretching into gestures of greater poignancy." - The Stage (The Two Pigeons) 5 Stars