A classic of The Royal Ballet, La Fille mal gardée was an immediate hit with the British public. Choreographed by Frederick Ashton in 1960, it is a highly lyrical and technically demanding take on the simple tale of ‘love prevailing’ which underpins this charming story. It was created by French ballet master Jean Dauberval and was first danced in 1789. This 2015 revival is a ‘company triumph’ (Independent), with principals Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae creating terrific onstage chemistry and delivering outstanding solo performances – Osipova as a ‘perky and gamine Lise’ with ‘pin-drop precise’ phrasing (Guardian), and McRae an instantly likeable, playful Colas whose physical articulation is ‘particularly Ashtonian’ in quality (Daily Telegraph). They are joined by Philip Mosley as Widow Simone, who brings ‘music-hall gusto’ (Independent) to the famous clog dance of Act I.
In this production from Teatro alla Scala the ballet Don Quixote is shown in the legendary choreography of Rudolf Nureyev. Nureyev´s intention by fusing together the worlds of Commedia dell´Arte and classical ballet to create a visual feast for its audience, has made Don Quixote one of the most loved ballets world-wide. With its sparkling energy and the bright colours of the staging by Raffaele Del Savio and Anna Anni, Rudolf Nureyev’s Don Quixote, transports audiences with freshness, joy and choreographic splendour to an enchanting Spain, with gypsy dances, fandangos, matadors, windmills and the airy candour of the Garden of the Dryads. The ballet of Teatro alla Scala and the classical ballet stars Natalia Osipova (principal dancer of the Royal Ballet in London and the Mikhaylovsky Theatre Ballet in St Petersburg) and Leonid Sarafanov (principal dancer of the Mikhaylovsky Theatre Ballet in St Petersburg) make this a breathtaking, and distinctive performance.
Principals Natalia Osipova and Steven McRae dance Ashton’s Rhapsody, created for The Royal Ballet in 1980 with the star parts taken by Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lesley Collier. Ashton provided spectacular choreography to suit the dancers’ virtuoso abilities. Lauren Cuthbertson and Vadim Muntagirov lead a charismatic cast in Ashton’s poignant and heart-warming reflection on love, The Two Pigeons, based on an old French folktale and first performed on Valentine’s Day 1961. These two ballets by the Company’s Founder Choreographer capture The Royal Ballet’s famous skill and distinctive style. Barry Wordsworth conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in the rapturous Rachmaninoff and Messager scores.