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This event is scheduled to begin at 7pm BST on 2 April 2021. The performance will last approximately 30 minutes.
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Symphonic Variations was Frederick Ashton’s first choreographic work after returning from serving in the RAF during World War II. It was one of the Company’s first works for the Main Stage of the Royal Opera House, and Ashton and his designer Sophie Fedorovitch agonized over ways to make sure the ballet would be experienced, even at the back of the enormous auditorium. The result, first performed on 24 April 1946, became a cornerstone of The Royal Ballet’s repertory and is acclaimed as one of Ashton’s very finest works. This stream celebrates the 75th anniversary of the ballet's premiere at the Royal Opera House.
The ballet was created for just six dancers, who never leave the stage. The dancers combine in a series of quartets, duets, sextets and solos, perfectly reflecting César Franck’s brooding Variations symphoniques for piano and orchestra. The flow of dancing quickens and slows but retains a sense of serenity and spaciousness – a hint at the mysticism and spirituality Ashton had studied during World War II, and which had a clear impact on his choreography.
Live performance is a shared experience, and our audiences are at the heart of what we do on our stages, backstage, online, in cinemas and in our communities. This year’s global pandemic has affected all arts organisations across the world. We have lost £3 in every £5 of our income, and any Government loan will take us only part of the way. We need your help to bring artists back to our stages. Please consider making a donation to the Royal Opera House Recovery Campaign.
You can make a donation here.
The 2020/21 Ballet Season is generously supported by Aud Jebsen.
Streaming generously supported by The Foyle Foundation.