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Watch: Members of The Royal Ballet on La Fille mal gardée

Backstage films from the live relay of La Fille mal gardée, including rehearsal footage and exclusive interviews.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

5 May 2015 at 11.37pm | 7 Comments

Frederick Ashton's Royal Ballet production of La Fille mal gardée (The Wayward Daughter) was screened live in cinemas across the world on 5 May 2015.

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!’

To see more films like these, subscribe to the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:

La Fille mal gardée runs from 27 September–22 October 2016. Tickets are still available.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

5 May 2015 at 11.37pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged by Frederick Ashton, cinema, Darcey Busell, Film, films, interval films, La Fille mal gardee, Lesley Collier, Natalia Osipova, Production, relay, screening, Steven McRae

This article has 7 comments

  1. Charmian Gifford responded on 6 May 2015 at 11:24am Reply

    If it was on again the next night I would be straight back - it was quite magnificent and I loved every moment. Charmian

  2. Charmian Gifford responded on 6 May 2015 at 11:26am Reply

    I enjoyed the article as it brought back last nights wonderful performance. Charmian

  3. Rita Taylor responded on 6 May 2015 at 3:19pm Reply

    A timely reminder of last night's wonderful experience. Perfect in every way! The next one cannot come soon enough.

  4. bernd responded on 6 May 2015 at 6:28pm Reply

    Yesterday finally I could watch this wonderful ballet performance of la Fille mal gardée with the amazing Natalia Osipova and the excellent Steven McRae. it was a firework of colours, breathbraking movements, tender feelings and a lot of fun. Especially the ballerina Osipova belongs to fastest and perfect dancers in the world. And first I am very thankful to have this opportunity to take part in such performances in cinemas and second to all members of the ballet company and the director who give their part in this very classical and perfect form to a new generation of dancers and audience.

  5. Elinor Salter responded on 7 May 2015 at 5:07pm Reply

    That was the most amazing production of the ballet that I have seen - awe inspiring dancing and I am still smiling now - two days afterwards! PLEASE, PLEASE put it out on DVD!

  6. Janet Davies responded on 27 May 2015 at 7:20pm Reply

    Would you please advise if this will be available on DVD. An elderely friend saw this and would like a copy on DVD. She already has the DVD of the ballet but would like to see the interview by Darcy Bussell again.
    Many thanks

    Janet Davies

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