Tomorrow, The Royal Ballet unveils a new mixed bill, the Beauty Mixed Programme. It reflects a phrase said by the company's founder Dame Ninette de Valois:
Kevin O'Hare, the company's director, writes:
Following recently presented works by Crystal Pite, Kyle Abraham, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins, I am delighted to welcome you to our last mixed programme celebrating the breadth of The Royal Ballet's repertory and the exceptional artistry of our performers. We wouldn't be here today without the vision of one extraordinary woman, our founder Dame Ninette de Valois. As the Company marks its 90th anniversary, we have great pleasure in sharing ballet spanning the generations from Madam's third act of The Sleeping Beauty to a world premiere by one of our Company choreographers.
Anemoi by First Soloist Valentino Zucchetti was created especially for the talents of the youngest members of The Royal Ballet. Inspired by Greek mythology where Anemoi gods rule over the winds, this world premiere ushers in brighter times with positive winds of change and the warm arrival of spring.
A series of evocative duets follows from the two choreographers who shaped the early history of The Royal Ballet, Frederick Ashton, and Kenneth MacMillan, alongside some of the most distinctive voices in dance today, Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor, Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon and the internationally acclaimed Swedish choreographer Mats Ek.
Voices of Spring
After the Rain
woman with water
Ashton's effervescent Voices of Spring and MacMillan's poignant Winter Dreams ‘farewell' pas de deux accompany McGregor's Morgen, a touching moment of hope for better times as conveyed in Richard Strauss's setting of John Henry Mackay's poem, and Wheeldon's heartfelt After the Rain pas de deux set to Arvo Pärt. New to The Royal Ballet is woman with water by Mats Ek, originally created for the Royal Swedish Ballet last year and inspired by Ek's 30 years as a choreographer. The opportunity to work with this creative force of the dance scene has been truly inspirational for the dancers.
The Sleeping Beauty
In tribute to our founder, the programme culminates with the third act of The Sleeping Beauty, a signature classic for The Royal Ballet and the production De Valois selected for the reopening of the Royal Opera House when we made our home here 75 years ago. The burst of colour and optimism in the final act of this revival complements not only an anniversary celebration but also the excited mood of our return to the stage in 2021.
We aspire to move forward, in the words of De Valois, as ‘adventurous traditionalists' and reflect upon our rich history and vibrant future.
Director of The Royal Ballet
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.