Ever since its triumphant premiere in 1960, Frederick Ashton's La Fille mal gardée (The Badly Guarded Girl) has been treasured as one of his happiest creations. An artistic tribute to nature, the ballet is an expression of Ashton's feelings for his beloved Suffolk countryside. Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta perfectly portray the young lovers Lise and Colas, determined to thwart the plans of Widow Simone to marry off her wayward daughter to Alain, the simple son of wealthy Farmer Thomas.
Osbert Lancaster's colourful, picture-book designs, along with Ferdinand Hérold's tuneful score, arranged by John Lanchbery, provide the perfect setting for Ashton's blissfully bucolic ballet, complete with haywain, pony, maypole and ribbons, a cockerel and his chickens and, of course, the famous clog dance, here wonderfully led by William Tuckett as the irascible but lovable Widow Simone.
Music: Ferdinand Hérold, adapted by John Lanchbery
Choreography: Frederick Ashton
Dancers: Carlos Acosta, Marianela Nuñez, William Tuckett, David Drew and Jonathan Howells
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Anthony Twiner 2005
A Royal Ballet production
Plus: Cast gallery and illustrated synopsis
Sound: LPCM Stereo / 5.1 Surround Sound
Region code: 0 Worldwide
Running Time: 112 mins