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.
Alain seems as uninterested in marrying Lise as Lise is Alain. Simone initially takes the hard line but eventually gives Lise and Colas her blessing.
Frederick Ashton's final full-length ballet La Fille mal gardée (The Wayward Daughter) 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.
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
17 April 2015
What did you think of Frederick Ashton's joyful, country life-inspired ballet?
16 April 2015
Ashton's charming pas de deux makes inventive and intricate use of ribbons, in homage the ballet's two-hundred-year history.
16 April 2015
Our quick guide to Ashton’s joyous ballet inspired by English country life.
8 April 2015
Cast changes for the role of Colas.
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.