I really liked this program. When I'm feeling low, I put on Ashton's Capriol Suite from the NYTB site. Something about the combination of social and court dancing is healing, it's a friendly work. The program brings these aspects together too, a happy accident as the company originally planned other ballets which fell through.
Valses nobles takes a while to appreciate. At first it looks like another chic production from yesteryear with flouncy dresses and white gloves. But as Ashton Fan says, seeing it again – and again – it slowly releases its perfume. In a way I can't pin down, it has a religious quality as if goddess Aphrodite is pulling the strings. I'm thinking especially of the part where the two main men bow to the principal woman as she covers her face with her arm (Aphrodite doesn't look at you direct, she was called the side-glancer) and also the use of the screens which conceal as much as they reveal.
The lift in the Paradise Garden where she is held vertically upside down reminded me of an Italian cypress tree which is supposed to be a symbol of death. I wonder if that was in Ashton's mind. In contrast, loved the daftness of Facade. I hear it called camp (which sounds snipey and I suspect is homophobic) but I think it all fits with the spiritual side of Ashton's work, like the Hopi koshares.
Any chance for more streaming when Sarasota returns to live shows?