5 May 2015 at 11.37pm | 7 Comments
The relay, presented by former Royal Ballet Principal and current 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Darcey Bussell, featured a series of backstage films, including rehearsal footage and interviews with members of the cast and creative team. Read audience reactions to the opening night.
If you missed the screening on the night, or just want to find out more about the production, here's another chance to see the films:
Members of The Royal Ballet introduce La Fille mal gardée:
‘Everything about it is genius. The choreography could not be bettered, the structure of the music could not be betted and the design could not be bettered, so you’ve got a masterpiece’, says Guest Principal Ballet Master Christopher Carr. La Fille mal gardée is one of the best-loved pieces in the Royal Ballet repertory. Inspired by Frederick Ashton's love of the Suffolk countryside, the ballet is full of vibrancy and energy, combining dancing chickens, national folk dance and some of his most virtuoso choreography.
‘Ashton’s choreography, along with the music and designs, creates such an uplifting mood’, says Steven McRae, who performs the role of Colas. ‘It’s vibrant and the energy is high. He combines some very touching moments, where it’s obvious how in love the two lead characters are, with some of the most virtuoso sections of choreography that we have in the Royal Ballet’.
Darcey Bussell and Lesley Collier on the feel-good factor of La Fille mal gardée, the mastery of Frederick Ashton and the challenges of the choreography:
Répétiteur and former Royal Ballet dancer Lesley Collier first saw La Fille mal gardée in 1960, and performed her first role in the production as a chicken. She went on to dance the lead role on numerous occasions, coached by Frederick Ashton himself. ‘It’s a fabulous ballet’, she says. ‘I learnt the role in a hurry, and I was so excited. But once I started to learn it, I found it was incredibly strenuous. I had enormous respect for Frederick, and there was so much to learn from him. He was a marvellous artist.’
Lesley has recently been coaching Royal Ballet Principals Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae. ‘Natalia hasn’t found a single thing about the steps difficult because she is perfect for the role: she has a wonderful technique, the most enormous jump and the perfect personality’, says Lesley. ‘We’re having a few problems with the ribbons, which is normal. It was certainly the most difficult thing for me, and I had thought it would be easy!’
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