CriticalDance Forum

Ashton Ballets: The Uncertain Future
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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Ashton Ballets: The Uncertain Future

In the New York Times, Alastair Macaulay writes about the uncertain future of Frederick Ashton's ballets.

NY Times

Author:  Cassandra [ Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:15 am ]
Post subject: 

Macaulay is right to raise this issue, the neglect of Ashton's ballets within the Royal Ballet is very worrying although the manner in which his works are danced causes me more concern than the actual scarcity of performances.

Frederick Ashton's choreography isn't easy: it makes harder technical demands on the dancers than those they are likely to encounter in modern choreography; also the fact that most of his works are of a narrative nature means that dancers must have rudimentary acting skills and/or strong personalities in order to make an impact in his ballets.

The term 'Third Quarto versions' is apt, but changes to Ashton's work were made during his lifetime, the inevitable consequence when working with human bodies when B cannot match the abilities of A, the dancer on whom the work was created. Miscasting is another problem as those who saw the misguided attempts at Month in the Country and Marguerite & Armand by Sylvie Guillem can confirm.

I fear for the Ashton repertoire, but applaud the efforts of Alexander Grant who has taken his 'legacy' ballet, La Fille Mal Gardee, to Australia, Moscow and Paris. Why Mr Macaulay takes such a disapproving stance towards Grant I have no idea, but I am grateful for Mr Grant's efforts which are akin to missionary zeal. Perhaps it is on Ashton's home ground that the obstacles to his works remain and perhaps one should ask exactly how the Royal Ballet lost the plot to the extent that Fille is now far better danced in Paris than it is in London.

Author:  LMCtech [ Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:17 am ]
Post subject: 

Hmm, politics probably. Isn't it always politics?

I am also dismayed the Ashton's work seems to be declining in it's original company. I wish preservation of genious work were more important than personality preservation in the ballet world.

Author:  Diane [ Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:47 am ]
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I wish preservation of genious work were more important than personality preservation in the ballet world.

:) totally agree!! (and could this be carried also outside of the ballet world? :p )


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