Paul Parish

The Wise Virgins

11 posts in this topic

Anybody else find this as beautiful as I do? It puts me in mind of the Preghiera of Mozartiana. Fonteyn like Farrell here, is nothing technically difficult, but being simple is the hardest thing of all, and she's SO expressive, so graceful, within extreme formal constraints.

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Yes, it is lovely. She appears to know why she is doing what she is doing. :)

The economy, the focus. Makes it very graceful and pleasing.

-d-

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It's really a lovely clip. Fonteyn had such a sense of line and movement.

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It's really a lovely clip. Fonteyn had such a sense of line and movement.

I have a charming little book - photos of Fonteyn by Gordon Anthony (brother of de Valois) published in 1950 with brief notes on his recollections of the works she appeared in. Of The Wise Virgins he says:

"As the Bride in this very lovely, slow but strangely moving lyrical ballet of Ashton's, Fonteyn was the very personification of the dawn of womanhood.....The grace and beauty of the stylised movements of the arms and hands suited her to perfection and, giving full rein to her lyricism, she appeared literally to melt from one posture to another. A perfect complement to the imposing, celestial dignity of the Bach fugue, she seemed to surround herself with a great tenderness and peace."

I've always been struck by the number of ballets he was obviously so impressed by which did not survive - nice to see a little clip of this one.

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I agree with everyone on this :pinch: Fonteyn is 50 or 51 in this clip, and I'm pretty sure I remember reading that she wore her original costume.

Lynette, I would also love to see some early Ashton ("The Lords of Burleigh," especially, but all of this one as well, and "Nocturne" and many others). But at this point, I don't think it's possible, alas.

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It's really a lovely clip. Fonteyn I've always been struck by the number of ballets he was obviously so impressed by which did not survive - nice to see a little clip of this one.

I think the main reason the Wise Virgins failed to survive in the repertory was that the decors and costumes were lost when the Germany army invaded the Netherlands and the Sadler's Wells company had to escape with only the clothes they were wearing.

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Oh, there were good reasons -- I've read that about "Nocturne," too, and that Ashton didn't think the ballets would suit the new, larger Opera House stage. Still....I'd like to see them :)

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Oh, there were good reasons -- I've read that about "Nocturne," too, and that Ashton didn't think the ballets would suit the new, larger Opera House stage. Still....I'd like to see them :wink:

You and me both, and many others too...

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Oh, there were good reasons -- I've read that about "Nocturne," too, and that Ashton didn't think the ballets would suit the new, larger Opera House stage. Still....I'd like to see them :wink:

You and me both, and many others too...

I found details of a performance of the solo from The Wise Virgins quite recently - rather a surprise for me. It was peformed at a ceremony in Westminister Abbey

http://www.balletassociation.co.uk/Pages/company.html#changes1011

You need to scroll down a long way but there is a picture of Natasha Oughtred in this.

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I wonder if Ashton was familiar with William Blake's watercolor of the wise and foolish virgins:

http://3.bp.blogspot...illiamBlake.jpg

If you pay attention only to Blake's WISE virgins, the feeling of the light whisper of movement, is similar in both works, I think.

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London ballet-goers can actually see this solo later this month, when Romany Pajdak dances it in a gala given by RB dancers in aid of the charity Ashanti Development. The progrmme also includes the pas de deux from Ashton's Birthday Offering and Anton Dolin's Pas de Quatre, as well as pieces by Ernst Meisner, Vanessa Fenton and Erico Montes.

A Dream of Africa 2010

Sunday September 19th 2010 at 7.30pm

The Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Rd, London SW7 2BS

Tickets £28 from RCM Box Office 020 7591 4314, www.boxoffice@rcm.ac.uk

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