The Royal Ballet: Ashton Celebrated review – a world where everything is just delightful

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We person Sir Frederick Ashton to convey for nan “English style” of ballet: its elegant precision, lyricism and keen musicality. Ashton’s lightness, deftness and nan sparkling repartee of his footwork is overmuch successful grounds successful this triple measure launching a four-year world ceremony of nan choreographer’s work, 120 years aft his birth.

The choreographer’s output was huge: much than 100 ballets crossed 7 decades. Here are conscionable 3 of them. Les Rendezvous, from 1933, hasn’t been danced for astir 20 years. This revival is redesigned by Jasper Conran pinch restrained beauty and 4 buttery yellowish dresses that would make immoderate bridesmaids very happy. Its al fresco mounting makes it for illustration a plot statement successful a world of polite privilege wherever everything is conscionable delightful. Marianela Nuñez looks for illustration she mightiness popular pinch joyousness arsenic she swirls past a princely Reece Clarke. But underneath nan genteel aboveground is simply a tapestry of patterning and invention and softly diversion feats. While overmuch modern ballet gives america legs and bodies astatine royal angles, pinch Sir Fred it really is astir nan steps: nan feet are ever tapping aliases humming aliases busily beating on pinch nan melody.

Not of nan quality world … Francesca Hayward arsenic Titania, centre, successful The Dream.
Not of nan quality world … Francesca Hayward arsenic Titania, centre, successful The Dream. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

Another gorgeous group is nan wooded glade of The Dream (1964). The Shakespeare ballet is considered a masterpiece by many, truthful it whitethorn beryllium sacrilegious to opportunity it ever seems a tad long. However, coming it is truthful good danced. Royal Ballet fable and original Oberon Anthony Dowell has coached nan principals and, stepping into his shoes, Marcelino Sambé rises to nan role, pinch enigma and scheming down his eyes. Francesca Hayward is nan haughty Titania he spars with. Joshua Junker makes a awesome Bottom, afloat of characteristic moreover erstwhile wearing an ass’s head, but Daichi Ikarashi’s decently puckish Puck steals it, pinch his spiky, spritely leaps, not of nan quality world.

Ikarashi is only successful his early 20s but this play he will besides make his debut successful nan effervescent Rhapsody, which closes this triple measure – though coming it is different young dancer, Taisuke Nakao, who flies done nan steps for illustration a skimming stone, leaving small trace. Everywhere successful Ashton’s activity location is conscionable tremendous pleasance successful nan enactment of dancing.

  • At nan Royal Opera House, London, until 19 June

Source theguardian