September 27, 2011

Press Releases

Media release: 27 September 2011

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A TRIPLE BILL AUTUMN GLORY and Frederick Ashton’s La Fille mal gardée


Venue and booking information:

Tickets: 0844 412 4300 or Sadlers Wells website


Autumn Glory – Tue 18 Oct at 7.30pm & Wed 19 Oct at 2pm and 7.30pm

La Fille mal gardée – Thurs 20 Oct at 7.30pm, Fri 21 Oct at 7.30pm and Sat 22 Oct at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Birmingham Royal Ballet is delighted to return to Sadler’s Wells from 18 – 22 October 2011.  The company will perform a mixed bill called Autumn Glory and Frederick Ashton’s charming ballet La Fille mal gardée.

Autumn Glory                                                                                               18 & 19 October 2011

(Checkmate / Symphonic Variations / Pineapple Poll)

Three distinguished ballets from the heart of this country’s rich heritage open the week of performances at Sadler’s Wells

Ninette de Valois’ choreography for Checkmate brings to life a dramatic and stylised war of lust, trickery and betrayal. A gallant Red Knight, devoted to his king, is seduced and destroyed by the ruthless Black Queen in this allegorical story of a game of chess between Love and Death. Left defenceless, the Red King is no match for the merciless Queen as she brings the full force of her weapons and her femininity to bear. Brimming over with classic 1930s style, truly inventive choreography, a powerful score from Sir Arthur Bliss, composer of the BBC Proms television theme, and iconic designs by E. McKnight Kauffer, Checkmate prophetically anticipated the merciless savagery of World War II. At nearly 75 years old, it is deservedly one of the earliest English ballets to still be in the repertory.

The pared-down purity of Frederick Ashton’s Symphonic Variations showcases technically brilliant dance from a master choreographer. Danced to César Franck’s exquisitely concise Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra, this ballet for six dancers is rightly hailed as one of the greatest masterpieces of English ballet.

Pineapple Poll is a Gilbert and Sullivan-inspired comic ballet, and is what a classic cartoon might look like if brought to life on stage! With the aid of a foot-tapping medley of the best of Gilbert and Sullivan and the comic choreographic touch of John Cranko, this is a spirited and altogether jolly piece that exudes life and colour. When the dashing Captain Belaye arrives in town, the female population swoon! Chief amongst them is Poll. Whilst half-heartedly dodging the attentions of Jasper, the Potboy at a local inn, she finds herself leading a band of desperate, love-lorn ladies, all seeking the attentions of the admirable officer, who is unwittingly taking the town by storm. Wrapped up in his own little world, when will the oblivious Captain Belaye notice that half his crew have mysteriously shrunk and don’t seem very at home in their beards?

La Fille mal gardée                                                                                       20 – 22 October 2011

A firm favourite for all the family, La Fille mal gardée promises to delight audiences from Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 October 2011

First performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet on 4 July 1991, La Fille mal gardée, created by Frederick Ashton, one of the greatest choreographers of the twentieth century, enjoyed its world premiere in 1960 at the Royal Opera House performed by The Royal Ballet.

Set in the countryside in eighteenth century France, the ballet tells the story of Lise, a young maiden who must choose between the handsome, penniless farmer Colas and the wealthy simpleton Alain who her meddling mother wishes her to marry.  Audiences will delight in the witty choreography and host of colourful characters in this joyous celebration of love and life that is perfect for the entire family.  La Fille mal gardée (roughly translated in English as The Wayward Daughter) is a two-act comic ballet featuring a maypole dance, a clog-dancing widow, dancing chickens and a live pony on stage.

Utilising the original score by Ferdinand Hérold, freely adapted and arranged by John Lanchbery, and performed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

Designs by Osbert Lancaster and lighting by Peter Teigen.

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