Royal Ballet's 2004-05 Season Includes Tribute to Frederick Ashton

Classic Arts News   Royal Ballet's 2004-05 Season Includes Tribute to Frederick Ashton
London's Royal Ballet opens its 2004-05 season tonight with a program of works by Kenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton, and Bronislava Nijinksa.

Ashton's A Wedding Banquet is included as part of a celebration of the choreographer's centenary that extends the length of the season. Ashton was director of the Royal Ballet from 1963 to 1970, and created new ballets for the company both before and after his tenure.

A Wedding Banquet, with a score by Lord Berners, is a comedic ballet about a provincial wedding at which everyone is behaving badly. It premiered in 1937.

Also on the program for the first two weeks are Requiem, MacMillan's tribute to choreographer John Cranko, set to Gabriel Faur_'s choral work; and Nijinska's Les Noces, which premiered in 1923 and was restaged by the choreographer, at Ashton's invitation, at Covent Garden in 1966.

Other Ashton works performed by the Royal Ballet this season include Sylvia, restored to its three-act form; Enigma Variations, set to Elgar's musical portrait of himself and his friends; and Cinderella, Ashton's first full-length ballet.

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