The Royal Opera House | The Frederick Ashton Foundation

October 8, 2011

Press Releases

Saturday 8 October 2011


The Frederick Ashton Foundation is launched today, with the principal aim of perpetuating the legacy and work of the distinguished English choreographer. The Frederick Ashton Foundation is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. It will be based at the Royal Opera House,Covent Garden.

The Foundation will have a close association with the existing Ashton ballet copyright holders (the Ashton Trust) and will, amongst its other activities, work with them to develop the skills of those who will be registered to teach, coach and stage Ashton’s ballets in the future, thus ensuring the survival of the Ashton Legacy for generations to come.

The establishment of The Frederick Ashton Foundation has been made possible by a generous donation from The Tomlinson Family Trust.

Tony Dyson, Chairman of the Foundation, said: “We are hugely indebted to the generosity of Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson, without whose support we would not have had the means to establish the Foundation. As committed supporters of The Royal Ballet and great lovers of the works of Frederick Ashton, they realise how important it is to ensure Ashton’s legacy is maintained, and we are very grateful to them. I am delighted too that they, together with ROH chief executive Tony Hall and vice-president of The Royal Ballet Lady Sarah Chatto, have agreed to become Founding Patrons of the Foundation.”

DameMonica Mason DBE, Director of The Royal Ballet, welcomed the initiative, saying: “I am delighted that it has been possible to set up the Foundation. It is of paramount importance that, as Founder Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, Ashton’s choreographic legacy can be safeguarded for future generations and the rights holders of his works can be supported by the Foundation’s activities.”

Initial projects with which the Foundation is associated include:

2 November 2011 – Insight Evening at the ROH: a Degas at the Royal Academy event in conjunction with the RA,  Royal Ballet ballet mistress Ursula Hageli will participate, and the evening will include a section of Ashton’s Foyer de danse (1932) reconstructed by Christopher Newton and Hageli and supported by The Frederick Ashton Foundation.

10 November 2011 – The Royal Ballet In Rehearsal (Enigma Variations, Clore Studio), supported by The Frederick Ashton Foundation.

March 2012 – Birmingham Royal Ballet and The Two Pigeons :rehearsal to be filmed (Birmingham Hippodrome), supported by The Frederick Ashton Foundation.

11 April 2012 – The Royal Ballet In Rehearsal (La Fille mal gardee, venue tba), supported by The Frederick Ashton Foundation.

Additionally, Opus Arte will release a DVD of Ashton’s work in November 2011 (Scenes de ballet, Divertissements, Les Patineurs).

The Frederick Ashton Foundation

The formal objects of The Frederick Ashton Foundation are “to utilise the legacy of the distinguished English choreographer, the late Sir Frederick Ashton, to advance the education of the public in and the appreciation and performance of the art of ballet and its allied arts in the United Kingdom and throughout the world, and for the public benefit to pursue a broad range of activities and programmes, including ballet reconstructions and revivals, publications, and lectures and videos, and to promote research in all aspects of the subject and to publish the useful results.”

The Foundation’s aims will be realised through coordinating and encouraging the work of Associates working in a broad range of areas, including:

a) establishing an online Ashton Archive to include the filming of relevant work in the studio, master classes, and interviews with those who worked with Ashton; cataloguing film archive material in connection with Ashton and his work; and making the catalogue and as much of the original material as possible available to the dance sector and the wider public through the Archive.

b) writers and archivists carrying out research and publishing material in connection with Ashton and his work; cataloguing written and photographic material; and making the catalogue and as much of the original material as possible available to the dance sector and the wider public through the online Ashton Archive.

c) organising and arranging exhibitions, conferences, seminars, lectures and lecture demonstrations on Ashton and his work and other events promoting the Foundation’s aims.

Founding Patrons of The Frederick Ashton Foundation:

Lady Sarah Chatto

Lord Hall of Birkenhead CBE (Tony Hall)

Lindsay Tomlinson OBE and Sarah Tomlinson

Trustees of The Frederick Ashton Foundation

(Trustees are directors of the limited company)

Tony Dyson (chairman)

Architect, Chairman of Dancers’ Career Development (formerly Chairman of Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Trustee of Rambert Dance Company, Trustee of the Michael Clark Foundation).

David Bintley CBE

Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet and of the National Ballet of Japan

Felicity Clark

Member of the Advisory Council of the Royal Ballet School

Jeanetta Laurence

Associate Director of The Royal Ballet

Dame Monica Mason DBE

Director of The Royal Ballet

Kevin O’Hare

Administrative Director of The Royal Ballet and Director-elect

Anthony Russell-Roberts CBE

Nephew of Sir Frederick Ashton

Executive Director (part-time post)

Christopher Nourse

Freelance dance administrator, Governor of The Royal Ballet (formerly Administrative Director of Sadler’s Wells/Birmingham Royal Ballet, Executive Director of Rambert Dance Company, Managing Director of English National Ballet)

2.   The Ashton Trust

The Ashton Trust was formed in 2004 and is an informal association of the owners and copyright holders of Ashton’s ballets (whether left to them by Sir Frederick or subsequently inherited from the original beneficiary). The owners have artistic and financial control over their ballets and are individually responsible for artistic quality in production and performance of their ballets, either personally supervising productions or appointing appropriately qualified individuals to undertake the work on their behalf.

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