Well you can't beat a bit of Ashton and this is three bits of Ashton. Much as I love the Macmillan, Wheeldon, Balanchine and many other choreographers the RB do, Ashton is far and away my favourite. The man was a total genius. I love the elegance and restraint of his choreography which paradoxically makes it more moving. There is also endless variety in his ballets which more modern exponents struggle to provide - and he can do wit and charm like no others.
I've seen all these ballets before but they do provide a particularly satisfying tryptich.
I can't think of a more perfect distillation of A Midsummer Night's Dream into 55 mins - all to glorious music by Mendelssohn. Francesca Hayward and Marcelino Sambe were perfect as Titania and Oberon.
Some consider this abstract ballet to be Ashton's masterpiece, it's perfectly formed with a cast of six all performing at the top of their game.
Marguerite and Armand
This was originally choreographed for Fonteyn and Nureyev. It was danced at today's matinee by Alessandra Ferri and Federico Bonelli and the sparks really flew! I last saw this danced by Roja and Polunin but today was even more involving.
I really think the Royal Ballet is in fabulous shape at the moment and this afternoon's performance was satisfying on every level.
This is worth seeing then? Ballet's not really my thing, but am pondering booking a ticket for the cinema screening as I think it's one of Zenaida Yanowsky's final shows - I've never seen her dance but hear she's really something, so it seems daft to miss the opportunity...
I'd go for it, but I really like ballet (more than opera these days.) There's lots of variety with two narrative ballets framing an abstract ballet and each one is fairly short. It makes a very satisfying whole and shows the RB at their very considerable best.