Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse is offering some holiday dance viewing in a recorded transmission from the Royal Opera House.  “Fille is a treasure,” says Monica Mason, former Director of the Royal Ballet, and anyone who has seen this sunniest of ballets will certainly agree. With its origins in a work first seen in 1789, La Fille mal gardée was staged by several choreographers in the 19th century before Frederick Ashton brought it into the 20th century and created an instant classic which has never left the Royal Ballet’s repertory. (more…)

Advertisements

Wayne McGregor’s Raven Girl is a brave experiment with narrative form, which springs from an exciting collaboration between author, designers, composer and choreographer.  Wonderful but subtle use of cinematic effect enhances the sepia-shaded set, and the choreography makes full use of the extraordinary technical capacity of the Royal Ballet’s principal dancers.

McGregor asked Audrey Niffenegger for a “new dark fairy tale”, and the result is a gloomy and sometimes macabre story, which includes a strong element of magic.  But magic does not make a fairy tale:  to be true to the genre, the story must, firstly, address what Bruno Bettelheim calls our “existential anxieties and dilemmas”, and, secondly, offer us a solution to them.  This, the ballet fails to do.  (more…)

Royal Ballet Nutcracker, broadcast live to the Phoenix Cinema, Oxford. Thursday 13 December 2012

This was the most enjoyable ROH – to- cinema transmission that I’ve seen. The children among the regular ballet audience gave the auditorium the buzz that’s sometimes lacking, and it was fun to be able to see detailed acting in the party scene close-up (not to mention Drosselmeyer’s magic tricks, which for the slightly myopic work better on screen than from the back of the Amphitheatre). (more…)

Last minute warning – another live transmission from the Royal Opera House coming up this week at Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse, this time of the wholly delightful La Fille mal gardée.

Frederick Ashton’s final full-length ballet is one of his most joyous creations, imbued with his love for the Suffolk countryside. It is based on an 1828 French ballet and the music was adapted by John Lanchbery from Ferdinand Hérold’s original score. La Fille mal gardée was a resounding success on its premiere in 1960 and it has remained a firm part of The Royal Ballet’s repertory since. The title translates as The Wayward Daughter.

Ashton’s choreography calls for a high level of virtuosity from its principals – the youthful passion of Lise and her lover, Colas, is expressed in a series of energetic pas de deux. The ballet is laced with good humour and a whirl of dancing chickens, grouchy guardians and halfwit suitors take to the stage. Ashton affectionately incorporated elements of national folk dance into his choreography, from a Lancashire clog dance to a maypole dance, making La Fille mal gardée (despite its title) The Royal Ballet’s most emphatically English work. Osbert Lancaster’s colourful designs reinforce the robust wit of the production.

Taking the lead at this performance are Roberta Marquez as Lise and Stephen McRae as Colas – not to be missed!

Performance:  Wednesday 16th May 2012, 7.15pm

Booking information: Book online by selecting a time or call the Box Office:
0871 902 5736 (10p a minute from a landline)

http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Phoenix_Picturehouse/film/Roh_Live_La_Fille_Mal_Gard_E/show/d90p03/