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 Post subject: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:13 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
2004/5 SEASON</big>

Monica Mason
Director of The Royal Ballet

People often ask, 'what is the English style and where did it come from?' Without doubt the
foundation of this style was laid down by Frederick Ashton and this Season, in honour of
his Centenary year, we'll be paying homage to Ashton and celebrating his work.
Ashton was a genius who knew what pleased him and how he wanted his dancers to look.
Glamour, romance, instinctive musicality, speed and lyricism are probably the qualities that
best define his choreography. He also loved expressive footwork; he would use the
movement of a foot to signify the quickening of a heart. He couldn't bear anybody to be
wooden or upright and insisted on the bending of the upper body almost to the point of
exaggeration. Also, put simply, he liked women to be women and men to be men.

We start the season with a mixed programme that includes one of his earliest ballets, A
Wedding Bouquet, a wonderful work that has elements of farce but is also gentle and subtle.
It's pure Ashton; a delicious piece about a husband who leaves a series of broken hearts
scattered about him on his wedding day. The programme opens with Kenneth
MacMillan's Requiem, a ballet made in 1976 as a memorial to John Cranko and here given
as a paean from one great choreographer to another. The programme finishes with
Bronislava Nijinska's Les Noces, a monumental work which Ashton acquired for the
Company during his period as Director.

In November, we revive Sylvia, a full-length ballet Ashton made in 1952 to Delibes'
enchanting score. Painstakingly researched by Christopher Newton for this new
production, it will be seen for the first time in its entirety since 1965, in its original designs
by Robin and Christopher Ironside.

The next mixed programme is devoted entirely to Ashton. It opens with Scènes de ballet, a
work that Ashton himself regarded as one of his finest. The centre of the programme is a
series of his Divertissements which include a recently reconstructed pas de deux from Devil's
Holiday, a ballet made for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in 1939 and first performed in
New York. Daphnis and Chloë, to Ravel's symphonic score, concludes the programme.
This Season's Christmas productions are Anthony Dowell's Swan Lake and last Season's
new production of Cinderella. They are followed by the ever-delightful La Fille mal gardée, one
of Ashton's best-loved and most characteristic works, famously described by Marie Rambert
as 'the first great English classic'.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, now firmly established as a 20 th century classic, returns in
February to be followed by a programme which includes the first new work of the Season,
choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. The influence of Ashton and Balanchine on
Wheeldon's career is abundantly apparent. His new work will form the centrepiece between
Ashton's Rhapsody, originally created in 1980 for Lesley Collier and Mikhail Baryshnikov,
and Balanchine's Symphony in C, a glittering finish to the evening. At three performances the
programme will conclude with Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand.

Our next programme brings together Tombeaux, Enigma Variations and The Rite of Spring.
David Bintley's Tombeaux was made for the Company in 1993 to music by William
Walton, a close friend of Ashton's, with handsome designs by Jasper Conran. In
choreographing Enigma Variations, Ashton was, I think, nervous of illustrating on stage the
real-life characters on whom Elgar's music is based, in case he misrepresented them in some
way. But when Sir Adrian Boult, who had known Elgar, came to conduct some
performances in 1975, he declared the ballet wonderfully sympathetic to the composer¹s
vision. The Rite of Spring was made for me by Kenneth MacMillan in 1962 and was a hugely
important moment in my life. Ashton really liked the work and there were a couple of steps
in it that he absolutely adored, in odd moments; he'd often ask me to do these steps for him.

The second new work of the Season comes from internationally acclaimed choreographer
Christopher Bruce, until recently Director of Rambert Dance Company. This will be his
first time working with the Company, and I'm delighted that he and Wheeldon, who are
both so firmly rooted in the traditions of British choreography, are able to make new works
for us. Ashton's The Dream, which sealed the great partnership of Antoinette Sibley and
Anthony Dowell, is also part of this programme, which concludes with three further
performances of The Rite of Spring and three performances of Balanchine’s Symphony in C.
Someone said to me recently, 'Ashton must be the only choreographer who could possibly
have found a way to choreograph water.' They were referring of course to Ondine, his last
three-act ballet, which he created for his muse, Margot Fonteyn, and which returns to the
repertory in April. In June, as part of ROHToo we'll present another programme of new
choreography in the Linbury Studio Theatre. 2005 also marks the Centenary of conductor
and composer Constant Lambert, who with Ashton and de Valois was one of the chief
architects of the Company's early repertory. I'll be inviting the participating choreographers
to look to Ashton or to Lambert's music for their inspiration.

The season closes with a mixed programme of Nijinska's Les Biches and two works by
Ashton, Symphonic Variations and A Month in the Country. Ashton always said that Nijinska was
his greatest influence. Les Biches, set at a French house party in the 1920s, is full of intrigue
and innuendo and the challenge now is to convey the subtleties of the period to the dancers
of today. With A Month in the Country and Enigma Variations, we will pay tribute to Julia
Trevelyan Oman, the designer of both these ballets, who died last year. Lastly, we come to
Symphonic Variations, a masterwork and a true distillation of Ashton's choreographic genius.
This ballet rightly occupies a unique place in both his and the Company's choreographic

Monica Mason,
6 April 2004.

<small>[ 08 April 2005, 05:37 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:40 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The full 2004-5 season details:

MIXED PROGRAMME – as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
22, 27, 30 October, 2, 8 November at 7.30pm / 23 October at 1pm

Music Lord Berners
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs Lord Berners
1st performance of this production Sadler’s Wells 1937
Kobborg*, Cojocaru*, Rojo* 22, 23(mat), 30 October, 8 November
Yanowsky*, Dowell
Howells*, Marquez*, Galeazzi* 27 October, 2 November
Arestis*, Dowell

Supported by the Dalriada Trust (Benefactors’ Circle 2004)
Music Gabriel Fauré
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Designs Yolanda Sonnabend
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 3 March 1983
Benjamin*, Cope*, Bussell 22, 23 (mat), 30 October, 8 November
Acosta*, Putrov*
Rojo*, Urlezaga*, Tapper* 27 October, 2 November
Bonelli*, Samodurov*

Music Igor Stravinsky
Choreography Bronislava Nijinska
Designs Natalia Gontcharova
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 23 March 1966
Arestis*, Hristov* 22, 23 (mat), 30 October, 8 November
Yanowsky, Pickering 27 October, 2 November
Conductor Barry Wordsworth

To begin the celebration of Frederick Ashton’s Centenary, A Wedding Bouquet returns after
an absence of 15 years. This one-act gently humorous ballet, created in 1937, is based on a
French provincial wedding in the 1900s. Despite the age of the ballet, it is as relevant to any
wedding today with its eccentric characters involved in flirtation, excessive drinking and
family squabbling. Lord Berners originally planned this as a choral work set to the words of Gertrude Stein’s play They Must. Be Wedded. To Their Wife. However, after consulting Constant Lambert and Ashton, A Wedding Bouquet became a ballet with music and designs by Berners and a narration performed by Lambert.

Bronislava Nijinska’s 1923 masterpiece Les Noces combines Igor Stravinsky’s
exhilarating score and song text with Nijinska’s depiction of the rituals that take place at a
Russian peasant wedding. Although it illustrates the social and religious construct of Holy
Russia, Nijinska herself claimed that the ballet was more connected to the experiences of the
proletariat of new Russia. Where the ballet is most remarkable is its break from tradition in
the sense that the two principal characters, the Bride and Groom, are no more important
than the presence of the corps de ballet. As a testament to its success, Les Noces has been
revived many times around the globe using the original designs by Natalia Gontcharova.

Kenneth MacMillan’s Requiem, which he dedicated to the memory of John Cranko, is seen
as one of his most profound abstract ballets. First created for Stuttgart Ballet in 1976,
Requiem was restaged by MacMillan for The Royal Ballet in 1983 using Yolanda
Sonnabend’s stark designs. With a large cast of dancers MacMillan set out to define
Fauré’s much loved 1886 score through movement. This choral work is seen here as an act
of fond remembrance to Ashton.


SYLVIA – a ballet in three acts - as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 16, 24, 29 November, 1, 3 December at 7.30pm / 20 November at 1pm

Supported by Phil and Caroline Swallow (Benefactors’ Circle 2004)
Music Léo Delibes
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs Robin and Christopher Ironside
Lighting Mark Jonathan
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 3 September 1952
Bussell*, Cope*, Soares* 4, 10, 16 November, 3 December
Yanowsky*, Makhateli*, Avis* 5, 11, 24, 29 November
Nuñez*, Urlezaga*, Samodurov* 9, 20 November, 1 December
Conductor Paul Murphy

Ashton’s second full-length ballet Sylvia was created in 1952 and has not been seen since the
late 1960’s. More recently performed as a one-act ballet, this tale of Greek mythology has
been recreated by former Company member Christopher Newton from his notes, archive
film and the original designs of Robin and Christopher Ironside. The narrative follows
Sylvia, one of Diana’s nymphs who, having taken a vow of chastity, rejects the love of
Aminta, a shepherd. Eros intervenes and causes her to fall in love with Aminta, but Sylvia is
abducted by the evil hunter, Orion. She is rescued by Eros and restored to her lover; Diana
forbids their union until she is reminded that she too once loved a mortal, Endymion, at
which she relents. This ballet is set to Léo Delibes’ wonderful music, which inspired
Ashton to create the great choreographic sequences that include the famous Act III pas de


ASHTON MIXED BILL – as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
13 November at 1.30pm 13, 17, 19, 25 November at 7.30pm

Music Igor Stravinsky
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs André Beaurepaire
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 11 February 1948
Tapper*, Sasaki* 13 (mat) November
Cojocaru, Kobborg 13, 19 November
Yoshida, Putrov 17, 25 November

Devil’s Holiday and others to be announced

Music Maurice Ravel
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs John Craxton
Lighting Mark Henderson
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 5 April 1951
Cojocaru*, Bonelli*, Nuñez*, Soares* 13 (mat), 17, 25 November
Yoshida, Urlezaga*, Morera*, Harvey* 13, 19 November
Conductor Barry Wordsworth

Frederick Ashton described Scènes de ballet as ‘just an exercise in pure dancing’. This
one-act ballet, choreographed to Stravinsky’s score of the same title, is a complex and lively
piece. Choreographed with Euclidian geometry in mind, Ashton intended that this ballet
could be viewed from any angle and still ‘work’. Scènes de ballet is a homage to 19 th century
classicism with designs by André Beaurepaire.

A series of Ashton Divertissements make up the central section of the programme. These
include the pas de deux and male solo from Devil’s Holiday, a work Ashton made for the Ballet
Russe de Monte Carlo which was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York in
October 1939. Due to the outbreak of World War II, Ashton himself never saw the ballet
performed, and it is now re-created by original cast member Frederick Franklin.

Sergey Diaghilev asked Maurice Ravel to provide a score of rich orchestral colour which
reflected the classical antiquity of the setting for Daphnis and Chloë. Frederick Ashton made
his version of the ballet using Ravel's shimmering score in 1951. The ballet follows
Fokine’s original 1912 libretto closely and tells the story of the love of a young shepherd,
Daphnis, for Chloë and the adventures that befall them. The production was given a
contemporary look by John Craxton’s designs.


CINDERELLA – a ballet in three acts - as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
2, 8, 10, 15, 16, 20, 27, 29, 30 December / 5, 12, 14 January at 7.30pm /
4, 23 December, 8 January at 7pm / 23 December, 8 January at 1.30pm /
27 December at 2pm / 31 December at 5pm

Sponsored (2003) by The Dalriada Trust
Music Sergey Prokofiev
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Set Designs Toer van Schayk
Costume Designs Christine Haworth
Production Wendy Ellis Somes
Lighting Mark Jonathan
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 22 December 2003

Cojocaru, Kobborg, Dowell, Sleep 2, 23 December, 5 January
Benjamin, Samodurov, Marriot, Howells 8, 27 December
Rojo, Urlezaga, Dowell, Sleep 10, 15, 27 (mat) December
Tapper, Makhateli, Soares, Mosley 16, 29 December
Marquez*, Putrov*, Marriott, Howells 20, 23 (mat) December
Yoshida, Bonelli, Marriott, Howells 30 December, 8, 12 January
Bussell, Cope, Soares, Mosley 31 December, 14 January
Conductors Boris Gruzin, Brett Morris

Frederick Ashton's Cinderella returns to the repertory this Season. The highly successful
new production with set designs by Toer van Schayk and costume designs by Christine
Haworth opened in December 2003. Prokofiev’s score for this full-length work is
wonderfully evocative of its mysterious and magical fantasy world, encompassing the
comedy and pantomime of the Ugly Sisters.

Made for the Company in 1948, Cinderella was the first full-length ballet by a British
choreographer and a resounding affirmation of Ashton's choreographic abilities. The
timeless fairytale follows the down-trodden Cinderella from her domestic imprisonment to
freedom through the intervention of her Fairy Godmother. As with all fairytales, the road
to happiness does not come without a set of rules to complicate matters.


SWAN LAKE – a ballet in four acts
22, 28 December, 3, 6, 11, 18, 24, 25 January at 7.30pm / 1 January at 7pm
28 December, 3 January at 2pm / 12 January at 12.30pm

Revival sponsored (2002) by The Linbury Trust
Music Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography Marius Petipa after Lev Ivanov
Production Anthony Dowell
Act I Waltz David Bintley
Act III Neapolitan Dance Frederick Ashton
Designs Yolanda Sonnabend
Production Research Roland John Wiley
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 12 March 1987
Conductors Valery Ovsyanikov, Alex Ingram

The enduring love story of a princess turned into a swan by an evil magician is danced to
one of Tchaikovsky’s most memorable scores, with timeless choreography by
Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write Swan Lake for
the Bolshoi Ballet in 1875, and the first version of the ballet, choreographed by
Wenzel Reisinger, had its premiere in 1877. Thus began a rather chequered history.
Joseph Hansen revised the ballet shortly after, only to be dropped completely six years
later. In 1895, a new version choreographed by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa was
danced by the Kirov Ballet and this is now considered the definitive version. Over time,
there have been countless new versions created both in the tradition of the original and as
wildly abstract approaches. Anthony Dowell’s production, set in Russia at the turn of the
20 th -century, was created reinstating rarely performed choreography based on notations
made in St. Petersburg before the 1917 revolution. Swan Lake is a ballet filled with spectacle
and virtuosity, performed against Yolanda Sonnabend’s Fabergé-inspired designs.


LA FILLE MAL GARDÉE – a ballet in two acts - as part of the ASHTON 100
19, 21, 27, 28 January, 2 February, 7, 8, 10, 16, 17 March at 7.30pm /
27 February at 3pm

Sponsored (2004) by the Friends of Covent Garden
Music Ferdinand Hérold
Arranged by John Lanchbery
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs Osbert Lancaster
Scenario Jean Dauberval
Lighting John B. Read
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 28 January 1960

First performed in 1960, Frederick Ashton’s version of La Fille mal gardée returns to the
Royal Opera House. The affectionately mocking rural designs by Osbert Lancaster set the
scene at the beginning of the ballet with the spirited young girl Lise about to be married off
by her Mother, Widow Simone. Not wishing to marry the idiot son of the local wealthy
farmer, Lise makes several attempts to run off with her true love, the less wealthy farmer
Colas. Will true love win through? This charming romantic comedy is danced to a
delightful score by Ferdinand Hérold arranged by John Lanchbery. Some of Ashton’s
wittiest choreography is combined with an equal measure of his most radiant writing in the
pas de deux for the lovers Lise and Colas and clever references to traditional English


MANON – a ballet in three acts
3, 17, 18, 19, 22, 25 February, 1 March at 7.30pm / 5 February at 12.30pm

Sponsored (1974) by The Linbury Trust
Revival Supported (2003) by the Friends of Covent Garden
Music Jules Massenet
Orchestration and arrangement Leighton Lucas
with the collaboration of
Hilda Gaunt
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Designs Nicholas Georgiadis
Lighting John B. Read
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 7 March 1974
Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon has been one of the Company’s signature works since its
creation in 1974. Based on Abbé Prévost’s L’Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon
Lescaut this magnificent ballet follows the fall of the central character, Manon, from Parisian
courtesan to a fugitive in the Louisiana swamps. Despite falling in love with a young
student, Des Grieux, Manon agrees to a financial arrangement that her brother Lescaut has
made with a wealthy but elderly gentleman, Monsieur G.M. A victim of her own avarice,
she persuades Des Grieux to cheat Monsieur G.M. out of more money at a card game.
When they are discovered, she is arrested as a prostitute and deported to America, followed
by her lover. Emotionally charged, Jules Massenet’s music, arranged by Leighton Lucas,
from songs, piano pieces and arias (though none from his opera Manon) follows the
protagonists through soaring heights of ecstasy to the depths of despair, all portrayed against
Nicholas Georgiadis’s sumptuous designs.


MIXED PROGRAMME – as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
11, 14, 18 March at 7.30pm
1, 5 April at 7.30pm/ 2 April at 7pm

Music Sergey Rachmaninov
Choreography Frederick Ashton
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 4 August 1980

Supported by Marco Campagnoni (Benefactors’ Circle 2005)
Choreography Christopher Wheeldon
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 11 March 2005

Music Georges Bizet
Choreography George Balanchine
Designs Anthony Dowell
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 19 March 1992

Sponsored by The Dalriada Trust
Music Franz Liszt
Orchestrated by Dudley Simpson
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs Cecil Beaton
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 12 March 1963
Conductor Valery Ovsyanikov

Frederick Ashton’s Rhapsody, opens the programme. This pure dance work is set to
Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and provides a stunning showcase of
virtuosity and supreme technical ability for two principals and six accompanying couples.
Christopher Wheeldon has now established himself as one of the greatest choreographers
of his generation. Choreographing works for Broadway and the West End, The Royal
Ballet, New York City Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet, he never fails to enthral and please audience
and critics alike. His new work for the Company comes hot on the heels of Tryst and
Polyphonia and promises to be another core work in The Royal Ballet’s repertory.

Symphony in C is a vivid example of Balanchine’s ability to portray the very essence of his
chosen music, as the varying melodies, rhythms and textures of Bizet’s youthful score are
reflected magically in dance. Contrasting movements introduce in turn the various
performers who spectacularly come together for the exuberant finale.
Completing the programme is Frederick Ashton’s Marguerite and Armand, an adaptation of
Dumas’ La Dame aux camélias, the story of the doomed, turbulent passion between a
courtesan and her young, idealistic lover. Ashton created this ballet for Fonteyn and
Nureyev, but for today’s audience it has become one of Sylvie Guillem’s signature roles
with The Royal Ballet.


MIXED BILL - as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
26 March, 9, 16 April at 7pm / 30 March, 6, 7 April at 7.30pm

Music William Walton
Choreography David Bintley
Designs Jasper Conran
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 11 February 1993

Music Edward Elgar
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs Julia Trevelyan Oman
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 25 October 1968

Sponsored (2004) by the Friends of Covent Garden
Music Igor Stravinsky
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Designs Sidney Nolan

1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 3 May 1962
David Bintley created Tombeaux partly as tribute to his mentor Frederick Ashton. The
choreography is rich in the traditions of English ballet. The score, Variations on a Theme by
Hindemith, by Ashton’s friend William Walton, sets the fundamentals for Bintley’s
choreography by providing nine short variations and a fugal finale, perfect for a showcase of
pure ballet. Tombeaux uses Jasper Conran’s vibrant designs which add a contemporary
flavour that allows the ballet to look both forward and back into the philosophy of The
Royal Ballet.

Enigma Variations is a masterpiece of Ashton’s carefully crafted characterisations. Set to
Elgar’s much loved score it presents us with Ashton’s interpretations of the composer’s
friends. These performances are dedicated to its late designer, Julia Trevelyan Oman,
whose beautifully and meticulously constructed design place the action at home in
‘Worcestershire in 1898’. Enigma Variations radiates pathos, nostalgia and affection
performed through a rarely seen naturalism.

Completing the programme is MacMillan’s The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky’s landmark
masterpiece that caused rioting in the streets of Paris when it was first performed. The
pulsating rhythms of the score were matched by Nijinsky’s choreography in 1913 and have
been attempted by many choreographers since but few as successfully as MacMillan. Created
on Monica Mason, the ordeal of the Chosen Maiden throughout the ritual remains as fresh
and vivid as the designs by Sidney Nolan.


ONDINE - a ballet in three acts - as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
Frederick Ashton
19, 22, 28 April, 4, 5, 9, 10 May at 7.30pm / 7 May at 7pm / 2 May at 1pm

Revival sponsored (1988) by The Jean Sainsbury Royal Opera House Fund
Music Hans Werner Henze
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs Lila de Nobili
Lighting John B. Read
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 27 October 1958

This love story, based on Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s novel, is set in a mythical,
medieval kingdom by the sea. Imbued with the supernatural, the ballet tells the story of the
playful and mischievous water sprite Ondine, who falls in love with a mortal and, finally, at
the command of the Lord of the Sea, is sent to destroy him. Hans Werner Henze’s score
for Ondine was Ashton’s first commissioned score for what turned out to be his last
full-length ballet and also marked the climax of Ashton and Fonteyn’s creative partnership.
Lila de Nobili’s gothic designs skilfully interpret the nautical feel of the ballet.


MIXED PROGRAMME - as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
12, 13, 17 May at 7.30pm
18, 23, 26 May at 7.30pm

Music Felix Bartholdy-Mendelssohn
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs David Walker
Staging Anthony Dowell
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 5 June 1986

Choreography Christopher Bruce
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 12 May 2005

Music Igor Stravinsky
Choreography Kenneth MacMillan
Designs Sidney Nolan
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 3 May 1962

Music Georges Bizet
Choreography George Balanchine
Designs Anthony Dowell
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 19 March 1992

The Dream is a narrative ballet based on Shakespeare’s comedy, A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, set to Mendelssohn’s much-loved incidental music, arranged by John Lanchbery.
The ballet was originally created as a part of the 400 th anniversary celebrations of the birth of
Shakespeare and is a much reduced reading of the text. Presenting the wicked games that
Oberon and Titania play on hapless mortals and ill-behaved Puck’s mischievous
interventions, Ashton once again shows that his ability as a comic choreographer is

Ex-Rambert Director, Christopher Bruce will create his first new work for The Royal
Ballet. Bruce is recognised as the last major choreographer to have been nurtured by
Marie Rambert and has, through his career, created works for Nederlands Dans Theater,
Houston Ballet, Cullberg Ballet and English National Ballet.


MIXED BILL - as part of the ASHTON 100 celebrations
2, 8 June at 7.30pm / 4, 18 June at 7pm / 4, 17 June at 2pm

Music Francis Poulenc
Choreography Bronislava Nijinska
Designs Marie Laurençin
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 2 December 1964

Music César Franck
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs Sophie Fedorovitch
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 24 April 1946

Music Frédéric Chopin
Choreography Frederick Ashton
Designs Julia Trevelyan Oman
1st performance of this production Royal Opera House 12 February 1976
Conductor Emmanuel Plasson

Bronislava Nijinska’s Les Biches is an ambivalent portrait of the Riviera smart set in the
1920s. The title is a French colloquialism for ‘little darlings’. The narrative of the ballet
follows tittering girls, muscle-bound men and the sexually ambiguous, all present at a very
chic house party.

Symphonic Variations is undoubtedly one of Ashton’s greatest masterpieces. With music
by César Franck and luminous designs by Sophie Fedorovitch, this ballet is notoriously
difficult to dance with its precise choreography and unyielding pace. Symphonic Variations was
the first work that Ashton choreographed for The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden and the
change from Sadler’s Wells is very evident in his exploitation of the significantly larger stage

Frederick Ashton’s A Month in the Country is a distillation of Turgenev’s deeply poignant
play which focuses on the central love-triangle between Natalia Pertrovna, her ward Vera,
and the newly arrived tutor Beliaev. Danced to a score by Chopin, this initially restrained yet
increasingly eloquent ballet offers great opportunities for dramatic dancers.

<small>[ 06 April 2004, 08:30 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:43 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia

The Royal Ballet would like to take this opportunity to welcome the following dancers
who will join the Company in September: as Principal, Roberta Marquez from
Municipal Theatre Ballet, Rio de Janeiro, as First Soloist, Sarah Lamb from Boston Ballet
and Gary Avis from English National Ballet, re-joins the Company as a Soloist.

Roberta Marquez was born in Brazil and trained at the Maria Olenewa State Dance School,
then in 1994 joined the Municipal Theatre Ballet, Rio de Janeiro, becoming a Principal in
2002. Her awards include Best Dancer of the Year in the Rio de Janeiro Dance Awards
2001, and Silver Medal and Best Couple in the Moscow International Dance Competition
2000. Her repertory includes Aurora in Makarova’s and Lormeau’s The Sleeping Beauty,
Odette/Odile in Makarova’s Swan Lake, Nikiya in Makarova’s La Bayadère, Swanilda in
Martinez’s Coppélia, Juliet in Vassiliev’s Romeo and Juliet, Katerina in Cranko’s Taming of the
Shrew, Chloé in Skibine’s Daphnis et Chloé, Sugar Plum Fairy in Achcar’s The Nutcracker and
Floresta Amazônica, Balanchine’s Serenade, Lifar’s Suite in Blanc and Peter Wright’s production of Giselle. Most recently she has danced as a guest artist with American Ballet Theatre and The Royal Ballet.

Sarah Lamb was born in Boston and trained at Boston Ballet School with Tatiana
Nicolaevna Legat on full a scholarship from 1993 to 1998. After joining Boston Ballet she
was promoted to soloist in 2001, and to principal in 2003. She was awarded a Level 1
Award from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and a Presidential
Scholarship in the Arts in 1998. Her extensive training with Legat enabled her to win three
silver medals; from the Third International Ballet Competition in Nagoya, Japan in 1999, the
Sixth USA IBC in New York City in 2000, and the USA IBC in 2002. She premiered with
Carlos Acosta in Ashton's La Fille mal gardée and danced the role of Juliet in Rudi van
Danztig's Romeo and Juliet in 2003.

Gary Avis was born in Ipswich and joined The Royal Ballet in September 1989. He was
promoted to First Artist in September 1993 and Soloist in September 1995. In 1999 he
joined Tetsuya Kumakawa’s K Ballet as a Principal Dancer. He has danced leading roles in a
wide variety of ballets including Giselle, The Prince of the Pagodas, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Tales of Beatrix Potter, The Sleeping Beauty and La Valse. Other roles include the Tsar Nicholas II and Anna’s Husband in Anastasia, Monsieur GM in Manon and Von Rothbart in Swan
Lake. His created roles include Andre Prozorov in MacMillan’s Winter Dreams and many roles for Ashley Page’s ballets Sleeping with Audrey, When We Stop Talking, Two Part Invention
(part II) and Cheating, Lying, Stealing. Other created roles include William Tuckett’s Desirable
Hostilities and Adam Cooper’s The Nature of Touch and the Second Movement in Six Faces.
Gary joined English National Ballet as Guest Artist and later as a First Soloist in 2002.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:56 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
For full details of the Royal Ballet's tour to the USA in July 2004, click here

For the rest of the press releases relating to the 2004-5 programme, click here

<small>[ 06 April 2004, 05:02 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 6:56 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
ROH2 - An Introduction by Deborah Bull

In its third full season, the Royal Opera House’s newest department, ROH2, will
continue to present a varied and complementary programme of work, ROHToo, in the
theatre’s alternative performance spaces. Established to present and produce new art
which develops new artists and brings new audiences to the Royal Opera House, ROH2
collaborates closely with The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and other departments
involved in creative projects and continues to build a range of partnerships with
companies and artists who can contribute to achieving these aims. Alongside our
existing Associates – Cathy Marston, Professor Patrick Haggard, Music Theatre
Wales and Walker Dance Park Music – we are delighted to announce that the
composer Dominique Le Gendre has agreed to become an Associate Artist of the
Royal Opera House. Dominique was one of the nine composers who took part in A
NITRO at the Opera and we are currently agreeing with her a programme of work over
the next three years which will include a commission for the Linbury Studio Theatre
from The Royal Opera.

The season opens in the Linbury Studio Theatre with Firsts. Building on the success of
last year’s Festival of Firsts, Firsts is sponsored once again by Lady Helen Hamlyn in
memory of her late husband, Paul. Over the course of a week, Firsts presents small-scale
companies and independent artists new to the Royal Opera House in a diverse and
exciting menu of performance for young adult audiences with a single ticket price of £5.
October sees the first performances of this season’s Chamber Opera programme in the
Linbury Studio Theatre. In two separate visits, our Associate Company, Music Theatre
Wales, will present the world premiere performances of Nigel Osborne’s The Piano
Tuner (a co-commission between the ROH and MTW) and The Knot Garden, produced
with the Royal Opera House to mark the 100 th anniversary of the birth of Sir Michael
Tippett. The Royal Opera will continue to explore the Linbury Studio Theatre as a
chamber opera venue in Francisco Negrin’s production of Philip Glass’s opera,
Orphée. John Browne’s opera for young people, Babette’s Feast, will be revived by The
Royal Opera and in January 2005 the nine new works written by Black British composers
for last year’s A NITRO at the Opera will return to the Linbury Studio Theatre.
Completing the programme will be a return visit from Théâtre Français de la musique
in an opera by Stavros Xarhakos, the official composer of the Olympic Games and the
French playwright, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. Le Visiteur was written in 2000 and has
already played to great success in the company’s home base of Compiegne.
As one of the diverse dance elements in the ROHToo programme The Royal Ballet will
perform a programme of new works in the Linbury Studio Theatre. As part of Ashton
100, choreographers from within and without the Company will be invited by The Royal
Ballet to create works inspired by Ashton and the company’s Founder Music Director
Constant Lambert. The Royal Opera House’s Associate Artist, Cathy Marston, will
undertake a period of research and development for a full-evening work to be premiered
in the 2005/6 Season. Companies new to the ROHToo programme in the Linbury
include Siobhan Davies Dance Company (as part of Dance Umbrella) and Kim
Brandstrup’s Arc Dance Company. The Royal Ballet School will once again present the
Young British Dancer Competition as well as their annual summer season and will also
host a return visit by American Ballet Theatre’s studio company to the Linbury, ABTII.

The ROHToo programme will continue to include a range of small-scale dance
performance in the Clore Studio Upstairs alongside evenings of choreographic
experiment – First Drafts – from members of The Royal Ballet.

Newly returned to the UK after eight years as Artist in Residence at Kunstencentrum Vooruit in Ghent,
Belgium, Jonathan Burrows will take over the space for a series of performances of his
highly acclaimed Both Sitting Duet, with composer Matteo Fargion. For the second year,
the Summer Collection in the Clore will present a wide variety of contemporary dance
over the summer months.

Away from the stages, we will continue to explore unconventional performance
opportunities. For the third year running, Dancing Houses will reveal the building
afresh through site-specific choreography as part of London Open House. A new
initiative will see ROH2 collaborate with Insight Arts, an organisation bringing together
ex-offenders with award-winning artists. A site-specific video installation inspired by the
interaction of ex-offenders with this major arts organisation will enliven unexpected
corners of the Royal Opera House.

Alongside these highlights, the ROHToo programme will continue to include established
events in the 2004/5 Season. The Soloists of the Royal Opera House will play a series of
concerts in the Vilar Floral Hall. The Vilar Young Artists will present a range of
performances, recitals and workshop programmes in the Linbury Studio Theatre. Free
lunchtime recitals remain a permanent Monday feature, presenting members of The
Royal Opera and of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. A range of guest
companies will add to the programme in the Linbury. Black History Month will be
celebrated with events in the Linbury Studio Theatre and Clore Studio Upstairs as well as
a special exhibition. Springboard will offer a platform for work by and for young people
in the Linbury and the Clore will continue to provide a space where independent artists,
small-scale companies and Royal Opera House artists can experiment and collaborate
across the art forms.


November 2004
Jonathan Burrows will take over the Clore Studio Upstairs for a series of performances
of his highly acclaimed Both Sitting Duet, with composer Matteo Fargion.

November 2004
To mark the 200 th Anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen in 1805, Kim Brandstrup,
director of Arc, will create a new full evening work exploring the life and work of the
author. It will be seen in the UK before touring in Denmark in the bicentenary year.

THE ROYAL BALLET in the Linbury Studio Theatre
June 2005
To mark the centenaries of Frederick Ashton, the Company’s Founder choreographer
and Constant Lambert, Founder Music Director, The Royal Ballet will invite
choreographers to create new work for the Linbury Studio Theatre taking inspiration
from their work.

FREDERICK ASHTON , Founder Choreographer of The Royal Ballet
September 2004 – July 2005
A series of changing exhibitions throughout the season will celebrate the centenary of
the birth of Frederick Ashton. There will be two main themes:
Frederick Ashton and The Royal Ballet will focus on the ballets being revived by The
Royal Ballet during the centenary year, bringing together set and costume designs, model
sets and production photographs from earlier productions of ballets such as A Wedding
Bouquet, Daphnis and Chloë, Sylvia, La Fille mal gardée, Enigma Variations and A Month in the

Frederick Ashton, the young dancer and choreographer will consider his early life
and influences as well as the early years with the Vic-Wells (Sadler’s Wells) Ballet up until
1946. The exhibition will draw on material from two specialist collections within the
Archives; the Frederick Ashton Collection and the Leslie Edwards Collection and will
include personal photographs and correspondence not previously placed on public

October 2004
An exhibition in the Piazza link will celebrate the contribution of Black Artists during
the 2003/04 season as well as previewing performances as part of this year’s Black
History Month.



For the 2004/5 Season we are delighted to announce The Travelex £10 Mondays:
The Royal Opera House and Travelex, the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist,
today announced today a £1 million sponsorship agreement. This sponsorship will run
for three years and will begin with the Royal Opera House 2004/05 Season.
Travelex will provide 100 top price tickets every Monday for half the season for just
£10, some 2000 seats in total. That 100 top price tickets will be sold one and a half
hours before the performance, and we are currently seeking ways to ensure that these
seats are available to as many people as possible. The seats are located in the stalls and
stalls circle area of the auditorium. In some cases this would represent a saving of up to
£165 on the price of the ticket.
Other pricing highlights are:
• For the fourth Season in succession at least half of the tickets for every performance
by The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet will cost £50 or less
• Ballet prices reduced –
Average ticket price for ballet has been reduced by 7%
There is no increase for any top price seat to performances by The Royal Ballet this
Both the top price and the average price of tickets for mixed programme is reduced by
The top price for the new production of Ashton’s full-length ballet Sylvia will be £70
• For the second season we will be offering some stalls seats at a reduced rate
• All seats for The Olivier award winning The Greek Passion and for the world premiere
of 1984 will cost £50 or less
• Firsts – a season of small scale companies and independent artist new to the ROH
in the Linbury - all tickets £5
• The top price for opera rises in line with inflation from £170 to £175 (2.9%)
• In the 2004/5 Season there will be 140 performances by The Royal Opera and 121
performances by The Royal Ballet. Ballet performance numbers are lower than usual in
order to introduce a new performance schedule for The Royal Ballet at the beginning of
the 2005/6 Season.

Full details of the prices for particular performances can be seen here (scroll to the bottom)

<small>[ 06 April 2004, 08:59 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:02 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1742
Location: London UK
I think we all expected a good show of Ashton’s choreography to celebrate his centenary, but I must say I was quite overwhelmed to discover that we would be seeing no fewer than thirteen of his ballets in the 2004/05 season. Four full lengths, nine one act ballets and a programme of divertissements, the details of which are to be announced.

I was a little surprised that the obvious choice of "Birthday Offering" wasn’t included and that "Marguerite and Armand" was, as surely the latter is being performed strongly against Ashton’s wishes.

It was good news to discover that the Craxton designs for "Daphnis and Chloe" are to be re-instated, a wise move in my opinion: in fact we may actually get to see them sooner than next season as I notice that the Daphnis designs are currently credited as t.b.a.

The two new works for the season look particularly inviting: a new Christopher Wheeldon and a first work for the Royal Ballet by my particular favourite, Christopher Bruce.

In addition to the above we can also celebrate a lowering of prices at Covent Garden as ballet tickets are to be reduced by 7%.

Good news all round I would say.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 9088
Location: Paris, France
Very interesting season to discover so many works of Ashton. I'm surprised they don't dance Birthday offering, I dreamt to see also "Deux pigeons".

Do they speak about the Gala to celebrate 100th Anniversary of "Entente Cordiale".
Royal Ballet etoile will dance with POB Etoile on 29 september at Palais Garnier.

Information about prize

<small>[ 06 April 2004, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: Cathy ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 2:01 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 712
Location: Rugby, UK / Taipei
If you can get to Birmingham, BRB are dancing Two Pigeons (with Dante Sonata) from Wednesday 9th to Saturday 12th June at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 2:18 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 9088
Location: Paris, France
Thanks David, for this information :) !


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 2:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 7
Location: UK
the new RB season: how reassuringly, predictably aspic.

However, I did guffaw when I read Miss Mason's hilariously (perhaps) naive (vis-a-vis any gender politics in ballet debate) statement re Ashton: "Also, put simply, he liked women to be women and men to be men."

Glad to see the RB, shoulder to shoulder to with Alf Garnett, Norman Tebbitt and Fred Niles, promoting good old fashioned sexual unambiguity.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 307
Impressions from the ROH Season launch Press Conference

Although the ROH’s new season press releases always offer very detailed information I found it especially interesting to get the first impression directly from the source, in this case from Tony Hall, Antonio Pappano, Monica Mason and Deborah Bull.
Here are the most interesting points that were made that are not in the press release.
When Tony Hall announced the price cuts for the Ballet ticket price band and explained that a considerable part of the regular ballet audience was very loyal, often seeing several casts in the same production I breathed a silent sigh of relieve on behalf of the very same
people. At last they got the message.

The Royal Ballet will have 121 performances in the 2004/05 season which is ca. 20 less than the Royal Opera in order to facilitate a change in the performance rhythm. Beginning with the 2005/06 season the ballet will start their performance season 3 weeks earlier than usual which will do away with the long stretch of opera only performances in September and October. In order to make this feasible the ballet company will have to start their summer earlier next year.
In reply to a question Tony Hall also mentioned that there would be a new deal with the BBC to get opera and ballet on TV again and that the Piazza screenings would also return although no further details could be given yet.

Monica Mason said that she was especially pleased that the company was in the good shape it is currently in because the Ashton tributes ahead would present the dancers with a challenging season. There would be 6 full length ballets as well as 6 mixed bills with only 1 19th century classic which was unique. In addition to the 4 full length Ashton works she had included 9 of his one act pieces. She admitted that she had not been able to include all of his works she would like to have shown but that it was not possible to have an Ashton only season after all.

We can look forward to 2 new commissions by Christopher Wheeldon and Christopher Bruce. The former Artistic Director of the Rambert Dance Company had been asked to work with the RB before but had felt unable to give his full attention to such a project while still in his former position at Rambert.

In a very diplomatic reply to a question Monica Mason stated that she would eventually like to appoint a Musical Director for the RB but that there would be no appointment for appointments sake. The Orchestra did not like to be experimented on, they were used to being lead by very distinct conductors and therefore somebody would have to be found that the musicians felt comfortable with.
Earlier during the press conference Antonio Pappano had briefly but enthusiastically talked about his own experience of conducting for the company. He admitted to having been amazed by the level of energy that had passed back and forth between him and the dancers which enhanced the performance for the audience.

Talking about the new RB joiners as of next season Monica Mason stated that she did not believe in feuds lasting forever in reference to Gary Avis’s rejoining the company after a five year absence he spent dancing with K-Ballet and more recently with ENB.
She also mentioned that Jane Burn’s decision to leave earlier this season had caused a gap in the ranks of the First Soloists which Sarah Lamb from Boston Ballet would fill.
Lastly she expressed excitement at the prospect of fully integrating Principal Roberta Marquez who has already guested frequently with the RB.

A fair amount of the ballet related part of the question and answer session revolved around the issue of whether there would be more Ashton revivals in the future as well as specific suggestions of earlier short works which would be deserving of audience attention. It transpired that the plans for educational events like master classes and insight programmes have not been finalised yet but Monica Mason promised that there definitely would be opportunities to learn about Ashton’s work and his significance as a choreographer.

Deborah Bull talked in great detail about the upcoming as well as the currently running season of ROH Too which will start its 3rd year this autumn. Since it would be impossible to do justice to all the exiting programmes here I can only recommend for people to keep a close eye on the goings on in the Linbury Studio Theatre and the Clore Studio Upstairs.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 9088
Location: Paris, France
What it's great to heard that Direction of ROH listen for his audience and change level of prize because many people goes to see several times ballet to see several cast. It's the same thing in Paris Opera, but they don't change prize and makes a contemporary season :( !


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 9:51 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1742
Location: London UK
Monica Mason began the ROH Season Launch press conference by claiming that the Royal Ballet is currently “in good shape”. It would be churlish to disagree; though I feel “better shape” may have been more accurate.

This season is of course the first to reflect Ms Mason’s own repertory choices and the huge number of Ashton ballets in his centenary year took even me by surprise. I had expected a couple of triple bills and another couple of full-lengths, but Ashton’s work is to be showcased throughout the season and all his full evening works created for the RB are to be shown, including a revival of “Sylvia” with original sets and costumes: a mouth-watering prospect. My only reservation concerning all this Ashton, is will the company, with it’s limited experience of dancing any Ashton at all in recent years, be up to the job? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. Either the dancers will be thrown into the deep end and will instinctively latch on to the unique beauties of Ashton’s lyricism, or, if they don’t we will have to conclude that the lovely “English style” typified by Ashton’s choreography, is lost forever. A sobering thought.

It is fitting that Ashton’s mentor, Nijinska, is also featured alongside her protégée with the inclusion of “Les Biches” and “Les Noces”: two ballets that Ashton was instrumental in adding to the Royal Ballet rep.

I‘m very happy with the announced repertoire and heartened at how well balanced the triple bills are. In recent years I’ve begun to think that the art of constructing a varied and interesting triple bill had been forgotten. Ms Mason is to be congratulated on this.

During the “question time” part of the morning it was clear that some of our senior dance critics also have serious concerns regarding the recent neglect of Ashton’s ballets and I gather from Ms Mason’s response that she has hopes of more revivals in subsequent years.

The question of the lack of a designated musical director was another subject raised and I got the impression that this was a thorny area at present. On the plus side Antonio Pappano was very positive about his own experiences of conducing the ballet and it is clearly something he intends to do again. If I’m not mistaken only two of the Musical directors of the ROH have ever conducted for the ballet, the other being Bernard Haitinck. Perhaps this in itself is progress of a sort.

Matinees were also discussed with the need for rehearsal time given as the justification for so few. However Sunday matinees had proved to be a runaway success (though Sunday evening performances had not) and are hopefully to be repeated. I got the impression that Tony Hall in particular was especially aware of the need for matinees for those attending from outside the London area, so hopefully progress will in time be made on this.

TV broadcasts were another perennial question. At present there are negotiations in progress about more TV exposure and Mr Hall’s demeanour suggested he is confident about this even though he wasn’t able to give specific reassurances.

I suppose it was inevitable that a question would be asked regarding security of the House, with the questioner suggesting that planting a bomb would be relatively easy. Tony Hall insisted that this was something that is being taken very seriously and that possible new security measures were being looked at, he also reminded us that the present situation wasn’t pertaining during the ROH refurbishment and that is the reason why more sophisticated security systems weren’t considered at the time.

This was the first time I had attended a Covent Garden press conference and I found it an interesting experience. It was clear that Messrs Pappano and Hall together with Ms Mason and Ms Bull were all thrilled to be announcing the Travelex £10 Mondays scheme. Bringing in new audiences is clearly a priority for them and the Travelex special offer has brought them a lot of positive publicity in the general press. My favourite mention was a cartoon showing a casual looking chap clutching a large box of popcorn telling his neighbour in evening dress that his ticket was “£12 including the popcorn”. Together with the 7% reduction in ballet prices and the wall-to-wall Ashton season, it adds up to a vintage year ahead.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:10 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Tenners get the best seats at the Royal Opera

The Daily Telegraph
April 7, 2004

But yesterday in the latest attempt to shed its reputation for exclusivity, the Royal Opera House announced that some of its best seats are to go on sale at prices even the low-waged, if perhaps not quite the homeless, can afford.

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 Post subject: Re: Royal Ballet 2004-5 season news and general articles
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 1:55 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Salute to a blithe spirit
The Royal Ballet is paying homage to Frederick Ashton and the romantic glamour of a bygone age. By Debra Craine for The Times.

WHEN NINETTE DE VALOIS started her little ballet company at Sadler’s Wells in 1931 she was doing more than laying the foundations of a great dance institution. She was fostering a new style that would be recognised everywhere, marking out the Royal Ballet as a distinctive player on the global dance scene. In its heyday, in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties, the English style — epitomised by Margot Fonteyn — charmed the world.

click for more

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