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A Month in the Country

4–14 June 2019
Main Stage

Frederick Ashton's poignant ballet captures the essence of Turgenev's play about family and unrequited love.

When to see it

The Story

Natalia is spending a month in the Russian countryside with her husband, daughter and son, when the arrival of Beliaev, a tutor for her son, throws the household into turmoil. Natalia finds herself unable to overcome her passion for Beliaev, although she realizes that her daughter Vera is also infatuated with him.

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Background

Frederick Ashton's elegant retelling of Turgenev's play A Month in the Country distils the essence of the drama into a one-act ballet, where all the action unfolds in the family's living room. Characters come in and out, their feelings for one another displayed through solos and pas de deux, highlighting Ashton's talent for playing out complex drama through detailed and intricate choreography.

The ballet had its premiere in 1976 and was one of the last works Ashton created for The Royal Ballet. Julia Trevelyan Oman's designs evoke the stifling world of the wealthy family's country residence, and the emotive music of Fryderyk Chopin, arranged by John Lanchbery, adds another layer of feeling to the exquisitely rendered passions of Ashton's steps.

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

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On Wikipedia

A Month in the Country is a narrative ballet created in 1976 with choreography by Frederick Ashton, to the music of Frédéric Chopin (three works for piano and orchestra) arranged by John Lanchbery. It is based on the play by Ivan Turgenev of the same name, and lasts for about 40 minutes.

Read the complete A Month in the Country (ballet) article on Wikipedia, available under a Creative Commons license.