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  • Mixed Programmes
  • La Valse / Méditation from Thaïs / Voices of Spring / Monotones I and II / Marguerite and Armand

Tamara Rojo as Marguerite and Sergei Polunin as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013

Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin in Marguerite and Armand. ©ROH/Tristram Kenton 2012

Members of The Royal Ballet in La Valse © Johan Persson/ROH 2010

Tamara Rojo as Marguerite, Sergei Polunin as Armand and Gary Avis as the Duke in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Federico Bonelli as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Uliana Lopatkina and Timur Askerov in Marguerite and Armand © Photo by Natasha Razina 2014

Artists of The Royal Ballet in La Valse © ROH/Johan Persson, 2013

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013

Tamara Rojo as Marguerite, Sergei Polunin as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Tamara Rojo as Marguerite, Sergei Polunin as Armand and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Federico Bonelli as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Marguerite and Armand, Oct 2011 © ROH 2011

Tamara Rojo as Marguerite and Sergei Polunin as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013

Edward Watson, Marianela Nunez and Federico Bonelli in Monotones II © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013

Tamara Rojo as Marguerite, Sergei Polunin as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Marguerite and Armand, Oct 2011 © ROH/2011

Lauren Cuthbertson and Nehemiah Kish in La Valse © Johan Persson/ROH 2011

Yuhui Choe in The Royal Ballet's Voices of Spring © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013

Alexander Campbell and Yuhui Choe in Voices of Spring © ROH/Tristram Kenton, 2013

Tamara Rojo as Marguerite, Sergei Polunin as Armand in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Zenaida Yanowsky as Marguerite and Artists of The Royal Ballet in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

Tamara Rojo and Sergei Polunin in Marguerite and Armand © Tristram Kenton/ROH 2011

La Valse / Méditation from Thaïs / Voices of Spring / Monotones I and II / Marguerite and Armand

The Royal Ballet

A richly varied programme showcasing Frederick Ashton's feeling for music and dramatic genius.

Introduction

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.

Background

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.

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