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Background

Frederick Ashton was Founder Choreographer of The Royal Ballet. His works define the English style of ballet – characterized most notably by precise, fleet footwork, sensuous épaulement (the way the shoulders are held) and gorgeous line of delicate simplicity. His many works for the Company are arguably its greatest legacy.

The Royal Ballet celebrates this heritage through a mixed programme of three of Ashton’s most loved – and most characteristic – works. The Dream (1964) is an enchanting adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to music by Mendelssohn. Symphonic Variations (1946) is Ashton’s first masterpiece, and a breathtaking, abstract work on the beauty of pure movement. Marguerite and Armand (1963), inspired by the celebrated dance partnership between Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, is a tragic love story of great lyric beauty.

Frederick Ashton created more than one hundred works during his lifetime (1904–88). For further information, please visit http://www.frederickashton.org.uk.

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