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The Story

A Postman finds a young raven, fallen from its nest. They fall in love and in time have the Raven Girl. She longs to fly like her mother but has no wings. At university she meets a Doctor who lectures on chimeras. The Raven Girl approaches him and asks: Can he give her wings?

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Background

The elegiac Raven Girl (2013) is Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor’s seventh work for the main stage at Covent Garden, and his most story-led yet. McGregor collaborated with visual artist and award-winning writer Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveller’s Wife, to create a fairytale ballet that looked back to classics such as Swan Lake but was told with a distinctly modern sensibility. McGregor explained, ‘I wanted a story that in some way connected with the ballet stories of the past… and that involves something surreal, something that delves into consciousness’. The result is a unique piece of visual theatre. Niffenegger’s accompanying novella with her aquatint illustrations is published by Jonathan Cape.

McGregor approached acclaimed film composer Gabriel Yared (The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Lives of Others) to create the original score. Yared produced a score for orchestra and electronics that McGregor describes as ‘very filmic but [which] gets right inside your body and really helps with the emotional territory of the work’. Ravi Deepres (Quartett) created the immersive video designs.

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