First performed in 1980 on the occasion of an 80th birthday tribute to HM The Queen Mother, Ashton’s ballet to Rakhmaninov’s well-known Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is also a tribute to sheer balletic virtuosity and the performers who display it.
After Christopher Wheeldon’s success with Tryst in 2002, he returns to create another new work for The Royal Ballet, with whom he trained and then performed. Subsequently he headed to New York, becoming first a soloist then Resident Choreographer with New York City Ballet. And so transatlantic influences now combine in his exciting style, Ashton on one side and Balanchine on the other.
Symphony in C vividly portrays the very essence of Bizet’s youthful score, as its varying melodies, rhythms and textures are reflected magically in Balanchine’s exuberant dance. Contrasting movements introduce in turn the various performers who spectacularly come together for the exuberant finale.
The last three performances will finish with another favourite Ashton work, Marguerite and Armand, his series of passionately charged recollections by the doomed courtesan of Dumas’ famous novel, La Dame aux camélias, set here to music by Liszt.
Find out more about the rich variety of West End shows on offer in Theatreland.