Rhapsody closely follows the movement of Rachmaninoff’s score – by turns playful, romantic, elegiac and elegant.
Rhapsody was created in 1980 and was one of Frederick Ashton’s final works – a virtuoso conclusion to his series of non-narrative ballets. It was created on acclaimed Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, whose personality is at the heart of the work. The male Principal role is characterized by exceptionally fluent turns and lightness of movement. It is twinned with the strength and grace of the ballerina, a role created on the pure, clean style of Lesley Collier.
The ballet is set to Sergey Rachmaninoff’s well-known Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which moves from stormy passages to calmer interludes. Rhapsody was presented at the Royal Opera House in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on her 80th birthday.
News and features
8 February 2014
What did you think of the Ashton / McGregor / MacMillan mixed programme?
7 February 2014
A look at the development of the male dancer.
3 February 2014
A guide to The Royal Ballet's mixed programme featuring a new work from Wayne McGregor and two masterpieces by Ashton and MacMillan.
1 September 2013
As a The Royal Ballet releases an all-Ashton programme on DVD, we publish an Insights event about the choreographer’s early career.