Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of La Fille mal gardée. It was last on stage 16 April—5 May 2015 as part of the Spring 2014/15 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.
Frederick Ashton created more than one hundred works during his lifetime (1904–88). For further information, please visit www.frederickashton.org.uk.
News and features
8 May 2015
A release date will be announced in due course.
6 May 2015
Backstage films from the live relay of La Fille mal gardée, including rehearsal footage and exclusive interviews.
6 May 2015
What did you think of the live screening of Frederick Ashton's joyful ballet, starring Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae?
28 April 2015
Frederick Ashton's Royal Ballet production stars Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae.
Watch: Christopher Carr on working with Frederick Ashton – 'You could always feel this energy around him'23 April 2015
The Guest Principal Ballet Master discusses the creative process behind some of The Royal Ballet’s most celebrated productions.
21 April 2015
Ashton’s 1960 production is now the most well known, but there have been hundreds of versions of the ballet since its premiere in 1789.