When to see it
These events are part of the Spring 2015 season.
Lise is the only daughter of Simone, a widow and owner of a prosperous farm. She loves Colas, a young farmer – but her mother has far more ambitious plans, and has determined Lise should marry Alain, the son of a wealthy landowner.
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Frederick Ashton's final full-length ballet is one of his most joyous creations, inspired by his love for the Suffolk countryside. It is based on an 1828 French ballet and the music was adapted by John Lanchbery from Ferdinand Hérold's original score. La Fille mal gardée was a resounding success on its premiere in 1960 and has remained a firm favourite in The Royal Ballet's repertory. The title translates as 'The Wayward Daughter'.
La Fille displays some of Ashton's most virtuoso choreography – the youthful passion of Lise and her lover, Colas, is expressed in a series of energetic pas de deux. The ballet is laced with good humour and a whirl of dancing chickens, grouchy guardians and a halfwit suitor take to the stage. Ashton affectionately incorporated elements of national folk dance into his choreography, from a Lancashire clog dance to a maypole dance, making La Fille mal gardée (despite its title) The Royal Ballet's most emphatically English work. Osbert Lancaster's colourful designs reinforce the bucolic wit of the production.
News and features
13 February 2015
We've scoured the repertory in search of the most romantic ballets for Valentine's Day.
12 February 2015
US Cinema Season includes Christopher Wheeldon’s award-winning new ballet, La fille mal gardée and Swan Lake.
20 November 2014
How and where choreographers find stories has changed throughout the art form's history.
23 October 2014
Exclusive online films celebrate the choreographer and his work, and include his signature ‘Fred Step’ in super slow motion.
31 March 2014
Details of The Royal Ballet's 2014/15 Season have been announced.
31 March 2014
Live Cinema Season 2014/15 includes 7 operas and 4 ballets screened live in cinemas across the world.