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what ballet is this?


violet

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and if it is still in the repertory.

It premiered in 1952 (music The Garden of Fand by Arnold Bax, designs by Cecil Beaton) and I don't think it lasted more tha a couple of seasons. And unlike some of the other work he made away from the Royal, I don't think it was ever revived for anyone else.

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The photo shows Diana Adams as Isuelt. (Ashton's ballet is a version of the story of King Mark, Tristram and Isuelt.) Jacques d'Amboise portrayed Tristram, in his first leading role with NYCB. He was seventeen at the time. In the Suzanne Farrell "Elusive Muse" film, Jacques recalls how jealous Balanchine was of Ashton during rehearsals because of all the time he was spending with Adams.

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After a few years, it was decided that "Picnic at Tintagel" ought to be brought back, but nobody in the cast could remember enough of it to be able to revive it. All they could recall was "a lot of walking". Ashton was no help at all. He tended not to remember his ballets. The same thing happened to Balanchine a few years later when he tried to revive "Seven Deadly Sins". He couldn't remember it, either, but that was an exception for him.

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According to David Vaughan's book, it was a bit more than that: it was a charity event for and by the Royal Ballet School, and Ashton arranged most of the 17 scenes himself, to popular music including Singin' in the Rain and These Foolish Things. There was a film of it (wonder if it still exists?) and Vaughan says it reminded him a bit of Ashton's Jazz Calendar. The dancers included Michael Pink, now a well known choreographer (Dracula etc) - Ashton let him arrange one of the numbers - and Ashley Page(then Ashley Laverty, now director of Scottish Ballet).

(I never really knew that before - thankyou for asking the question!)

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