Jump to content


Ashton


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#16 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,248 posts

Posted 10 July 2001 - 10:36 AM

Thanks for the additions. There was a solo Ashton did for Dowell that he danced with Makarova's short-lived company. I missed it, but it sounded divine, the kind of thing Ashton did so well, where he captured the essence of a dancer, as Fokine did with "Dying Swan." There are dozens of those, and I wonder if they'd look like anything on other people. (Although "Thais" didn't even look like a cousin of itself here in D.C. and people loved it. So ....)

Another one -- I don't know if it had a name -- was the 60th birthday present for Fonteyn, where he choreographed a solo for her out of ports de bra (she remained seated) and put in a gesture, or arm/head position, from all her roles, in order -- or at least, enough in order to justify a comment that you could tell when the people in the audience had come to ballet by the moment they started crying.

#17 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,737 posts

Posted 10 July 2001 - 10:41 AM

the solo that leslie browne does under the credits at the end of the 'turning point' was choreographed by ashton, to, i think, a chopin etude.

#18 James Wilkie

James Wilkie

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 36 posts

Posted 10 July 2001 - 02:26 PM

Thanks to everyone and sorry I haven't posted for a while but I am preparing for the school's performance.
To add to your list Alexandra,Ashton also choreographed the the Pas de Deux that Dowell and Sibley did at the Dowell gala I am unsure as to what it was called I think 'Soupirs' I can't find it in the casting. Sorry! :)

#19 Helena

Helena

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 150 posts

Posted 10 July 2001 - 02:29 PM

The solo for Fonteyn's 60th birthday was called Salut d'Amour, the title of the Elgar piece Ashton used. He did something very similar for the Queen's 60th birthday about 15 years ago - well, not similar, I suppose, but also using a piece by Elgar and using its title Nursery Suite for the ballet. It was on the theme of two young girls, the Queen and her sister, danced by two RBS children - dressed to look like familiar childhood photos, with the right hairstyles and everything - and the way their lives diverged because one had to take on the responsibilities of monarchy, while the younger one had relative freedom. I didn't see either of these pieces myself - I only wish I had - but my mother saw Nursery Suite on television and found it absolutely wonderful and moving. I believe it had the Royal Family (well, most of them) in tears. Ashton was incredibly clever at this sort of evocative piece.

#20 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,248 posts

Posted 10 July 2001 - 03:38 PM

And I'd forgotten Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Another one that, for me, when I first heard about I said, "Oh, no." (I'm not generally a fan of Cute.) But, like the Rooster and his Hens in "Fille," it's so perfect... There was also a suite for vegetables that I only saw a bit of on German television once -- a dancing cabbage. Again, I thought it was a bit much until the darned vegetables started dancing. :)

There was a solo for Merle Park as a cat ("La Chatte") that I never saw, and a "Voices of Spring" (also for Park, with Wayne Eagling) and "Explosion Polka" that Ashton did for a Vienna production of Fliedermaus one New Year's. He is the one choreographer who really didn't make any effort to have his works last. Odd, for someone who's thought of as old-fashioned and sentimental (not my characterization) he was so willing to create in the moment -- something that suited one (and only one) specific dancer at that one particular time.

I think I've read that "Lament of the Waves" (another dancer-specific piece) might be revivable. (There are many other ballets, of course, but the ones we've been mentioning, even these last ones for special occasions, were all filmed.)

Helena, there was an abbreviated, slightly changed version of "Salut d'Amour" (thanks for the title) at the Met Opera Gala in 1983.

#21 Natalia

Natalia

    Rubies Circle

  • Foreign Correspondent
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,397 posts

Posted 10 July 2001 - 04:24 PM

Another lovely Ashton work is 'The Two Pigeons.' What a shame that this one is so neglected. Wonder why? The Canadian video, 'Ballerina: Lynn Seymour,' offers an enticing look at the main pas de deux in rehearsal, by Seymour & Gable.

I can picture an Alina Cojocaru & an Angel Corella in the leading roles. ;)

#22 glebb

glebb

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 807 posts

Posted 10 July 2001 - 08:15 PM

Thank you Jane. That's it! It was a lot of fun. Sibley was sort of a Vivien Leigh in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone type, and Dowell was sort of Elvis.

Joffrey also did Facade in the seventies.
Fun ballet to dance.

I think Tudor was the original Scottish Dancer and Markova did a double tour at the end of the Polka.

[ 07-10-2001: Message edited by: glebb ]

#23 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,737 posts

Posted 11 July 2001 - 05:45 AM

ruth page's chicago ballet did facade in the 1970s, and i saw ben stevenson perform the 'gigolo' or whatever one wants to call him.

#24 Drew

Drew

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,265 posts

Posted 11 July 2001 - 11:19 PM

Sorry for my confusion Glebb -- I hadn't realized Hockney was the designer for Varii Capricii -- but I'm glad you brought The Nightingale to my mind anyway...

Like at least a few other fans at the Met. premier of Varii Capricii, I was awaiting something more rapturous or, at least, elegantly classical, for Sibley's return to the ballet stage -- and the return of the much missed Sibley/Dowell partnership. Ashton was less pious and offered a bit of a surprize, but I do sometimes wonder how the more deliberately clever or jokey aspects of his choreography will weather over time...(It's honestly a question, and only revivals -- well stage and well cast revivals -- will tell.)

#25 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,248 posts

Posted 11 July 2001 - 11:51 PM

I agree about the jokey aspect weathering well or ill. People complained that "Facade" had lost its subtlety very early -- when it moved into Covent Garden, if I'm remembering correctly (from reading, of course, not watching). I think it's as much that some of Ashton's dances are so made of his dancers -- Soupirs, the last Sibley-Dowell thing, was little more than glances and low arabesques, but they made something of it. If someone else does it -- not that I'm guessing that it's a deathless work that will enter the Canon -- it may well come back as glares and high kicks :)

The whole revivals/what holds up issue is so hard to judge -- and is so interesting. I've been surprised to hear friends who didn't see the first casts say that Balanchine's "Union Jack" or "Tombeau de Couperin" aren't very good ballets. When they were new, I thought they were wonderful. (I don't usually think of Balanchine as being as cast-specific as Ashton, but in some cases, in a grand, big spectacle like "Union Jack," I think he was.)

Back to Ashton, I didn't think any of the performances of "Symphonic Variations" I saw this spring were particlarly good, yet I talked to some people who were seeing the ballet for the first time who were very moved by it. I never know which is worse: to see a ballet you love not done very well and get cheered, or to see it in tatters and dismissed. :)

#26 Alymer

Alymer

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 340 posts

Posted 12 July 2001 - 01:21 PM

Other Ashton ballets that are certainly revivable/revived are Sinfonietta, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales and Capriol Suite. I find it hard to believe that Persephone could not be revived although Antony Rusell-Roberts (Ashton's nephew and the heir to a number of his ballets) says not. However, that's what he said about Dante Sonata.
I'm also sure that at least some parts of The Creatures of Prometheus could be revived.
Incidentally, the waltz in ActI of Swan Lake was originally a pas de six. It was expanded for the Helpman production in 1963, but the original was retained in the Touring Company's production. I always thought it was a better version.

#27 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,248 posts

Posted 12 July 2001 - 01:33 PM

Thank you for that, Alymer. I've always been curious about Valse Nobles et Sentimentales. At a panel discussion here in Washington during the Royal's recent visit, Russell Roberts said he thought "we've gotten back all we can," and David Vaughan piped up right away, "Oh, no. There's...." and had quite a few suggestions.

There was another version of the Waltz in Act I of Sleeping Beauty, a pre-War version, with me, wasn't there? I've always been curious about that, too.

The one I'd like to get back is the Nutcracker -- new designs would be fine, but I'd like to see the choreography.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):