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ABC of ballet: The Fred Step

The Fred Step, a delightfully idiosyncratic sequence beloved of Sir Frederick Ashton.

By Royal Opera House

1 March 2011 at 3.33pm | 3 Comments

The Fred Step

Fred step: A signature step of Sir Frederick Ashton. Ashton put this distinctive dance into many of his works, like a lucky charm. The basic sequence is a coupé over and under, with a petit devéloppé, pas de bourée, and pas de chat. (Don't worry if you can't follow ballet terminology; all is demonstrated in our film below - and many more basic terms are coming soon to this series.)

Ashton said he first saw the step in Anna Pavlova's Gavotte. Look out for it, for example, in Act I of Cinderella, where the dancing master teaches the step to the Ugly Sisters, and Cinderella later copies it herself.

ABC of ballet: This is the first in a new series of posts, explaining useful ballet terms.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Laura responded on 2 March 2011 at 9:41pm Reply

    Hey! Thanks for this! Really helpful. Waiting for more.
    :-)

  2. Kolade Majekodunmi responded on 5 March 2011 at 4:46pm Reply

    Well done Seems very promising for a start. So, when do we expect. The next sequences, hopefuly not one at a time but maybe the full series ?

    In anticipation, Kolade

  3. Judith responded on 20 April 2012 at 11:13am Reply

    How wonderful for those of us old enough to remember Pavlova to see this enchainement from the Gavotte Pavlova. So often, Pavlova's legacy has been dismissed as being ephemeral (from Haskell's Balletomania onwards), but that's so far from being the case, whether it's something like this enchainement, which I know Ashton used in all of this ballets in one way or another, or her role in the rebirth of Indian Dance (and let us not forget that Gopal himself called her Yogini Pavlova).

This article has 1 mention elsewhere

  1. Royal Opera House:  In praise of Suffolk – and Sir Fred

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