La Valse / Méditation from Thaïs / Voices of Spring / Monotones I and II / Marguerite and Armand
Seven pieces set to a feast of music by Ravel, Massenet, Strauss, Satie and Liszt reveal the breadth of Ashton's work, and mark the 25th anniversary of his death.
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The rich ballroom dancing of La Valse is a homage to the vanished world of 19th-century Imperial Viennese waltzes. Two gorgeous and contrasting pieces follow with Thaïs pas de deux and Voices of Spring pas de deux. The first is a delicate, emotional love duet to Massenet’s poignant ‘Méditation’ from his opera Thaïs. The second is a joyous, virtuoso occasion piece originally created for The Royal Opera’s 1977 production of Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus.
We then find Ashton at his most abstract and modernist in Monotones I and II – an otherworldly distillation, in two pas de trois, of Erik Satie’s exquisite Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes. The programme concludes with Marguerite and Armand. The well-known story from Dumas fils’s La Dame aux caméllias, the music (Liszt’s torrential Sonata in B Minor), beautiful designs by Cecil Beaton and unrivalled romantic frisson between the two Principal dancers make this one of Ashton’s most passionate creations.
Generous philanthropic support from
Lady Ashcroft, Marina Hobson MBE and Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson
The first act will last for about 30 minutes including two short pauses, followed by an interval of 25 minutes. The second act will last for about 21 minutes, followed by an interval of 30 minutes. The final act will last for about 33 minutes.
Including curtain calls, the whole performance will last about about 2 hours 35 minutes | including two intervals.
These works are performed together:
The stage is filled with swirling dancers in Frederick Ashton’s atmospheric ballet set to a haunting score by Ravel.
This ardent love duet, set to music by Massenet, showcases the sublime beauty of Frederick Ashton’s choreography.
A Viennese whirl of a piece, Frederick Ashton’s pas de deux is accompanied by Johann Strauss II’s spirited waltz.
Sublime music by Erik Satie accompanies mesmerizing choreography in some of Frederick Ashton's most modernist ballets.
Frederick Ashton’s passionate ballet, set to Liszt’s piano sonata, was created for the celebrated partnership of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev.