Frederick Ashton and His Ballets


La Péri
The Flower of Immortality (subtitle added later)
M Paul Dukas (Poème dansé, 1912)
SC William Chappell
D The Péri: Alicia Markova; Iskender: Frederick Ashton; Companions: Pearl Argyle, Andrée Howard, Maude Lloyd, Elisabeth Schooling, Suzette Morfield, Betty Cuff
FP Ballet Club, London, 16 February 1931

See 1956, La Péri

The Dance of the Hours
Choreography credited to Anne Fleming, but that for Markova and Chappell at least was by Ashton
M Amilcare Ponchielli (ballet music from La Gioconda, 1876)
C Willliam Chappell
D Alicia Markova, William Chappell, and The Regal Ballet
FP Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, London, 14 March 1931

[Cabaret français]
Foxhunting Ballet
M ?
D The Fox: Alicia Markova, with chorus
FP Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, London, 4 April 1931

[Excerpts from Faust]
Opera by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
M Charles Gounod (1859-1869)
Choreography again credited to Anne Fleming but that for Markova by Ashton)
Singers: Faust: Henry Wendon; Marguerite: Paulyne Bindley; Mephisto: Herbert Dunkerley
D Principal dancer: Alicia Markova, with the Regal Ballet Corps
FP Regal Cinema, Marble Arch, London, 18 April 1931

A ballet in one act freely adapted to music originally written as a setting to poems by Edith Sitwell*
M William Walton (1922)
SC John Armstrong
D Scotch Rhapsody: Prudence Hyman, Maude Lloyd, Antony Tudor
Jodelling Song: Milkmaid: Lydia Lopokova; Mountaineers: Frederick Ashton, William Chappell, Walter Gore
Polka: Alicia Markova
Valse: Pearl Argyle, Diana Gould, Maude Lloyd, Prudence Hyman
Popular Song: William Chappell, Walter Gore
Tango Pasodoble: Lydia Lopokova, Frederick Ashton
Finale--Tarantella Sevillana: Lydia Lopokova, Frederick Ashton, and ensemble
FP Camargo Society, Cambridge Theatre, London, 26 April 1931

ST Ballet Club, London; D as above except Milkmaid: Andrée Howard; Tango and Finale: Alicia Markova; FP 4 May 1931

NP Vic-Wells Ballet; *subtitle added at this time, choreography and costumes both revised:
D Scotch Rhapsody: Mary Honer, Elizabeth Miller, Robert Helpmann
Swiss Yodelling Song: The Milkmaid: Gwyneth Mathews;
Mountaineers: Harold Turner, Frederick Ashton, William
Polka: Margot Fonteyn
Waltz: Pamela May, June Brae, Beatrice Appleyard, Peggy
Popular Song: Harold Turner, William Chappell
Country Dance (new item): A Maiden: Pearl Argyle; A Yokel: Richard Ellis; The Squire: Robert Helpmann
Tango Pasodoble: A Débutante: Molly Brown; A Dago:
Frederick Ashton
Tarantella Finale: Pearl Argyle, Frederick Ashton,
and ensemble
FP Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, 8 October 1935

NP Vic-Wells Ballet; choreography further revised; new SC John Armstrong:
D Scotch Rhapsody (later called Ecossaise): Guinevere Parry, Molly Brown, Claude Newman
Noche Espagnola (Nocturne péruvienne) (new item): Frederick Ashton
Yodelling Song (Tyrolienne): The Milkmaid: Julia Farron;
Mountaineers: John Hart, Michael Somes, Richard Ellis
Polka: Margot Fonteyn
Foxtrot (new item): June Brae, Pamela May, Robert Helpmann, Frederick Ashton
Waltz (Valse): Ann Spicer, Julia Farron, Palma Nye, Moyra Fraser
Popular Song: Richard Ellis, John Hart
Country Dance: A Maiden: Mary Honer; A Yokel: Michael Somes; The Squire: Robert Helpmann
Tango Pasodoble: A Débutante: Margot Fonteyn; A Dago:
Frederick Ashton
Tarantella Finale: Margot Fonteyn, Frederick Ashton,
and ensemble
FP Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, 23 July 1940

NP Sadler's Wells Opera (later Theatre) Ballet; new items omitted; SC as 1940:
D Polka: Anne Heaton; Popular Song: Donald Britton, Alexander Grant; Tango Pasodoble: June Brae, Frederick
FP Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, 29 April 1946
(On 2 June 1949 the scenery and costumes were destroyed by fire at the Theatre Royal, Hanley; for a brief period following this the ballet was performed in the original decor, borrowed from Ballet Rambert, but with new costumes made from the 1940 designs)

NP Sadler's Wells Ballet; new items omitted; SC as 1940:
D Polka: Moira Shearer; Popular Song: Michael Boulton, Donald Britton; Tango Pasodoble: Moira Shearer,
Frederick Ashton
FP Royal Opera House, London, 1 August 1949
Foxtrot and Country Dance added 20 June 1950, with new C for these numbers and minor revisions in the finale;
Country Dance dropped again as from 7 April 1951;
at two performances on 5/7 May 1956 the Nocturne péruvienne
was restored, and again during the company's tour of Australia, 1958-1959: D Robert Helpmann

NP Royal Ballet New Group; music performed in its original form, with narration by Peter Pears; original choreographic version plus Foxtrot, with abbreviated Finale; SC as 1940:
D Polka: Carole Hill; Popular Song: Nicholas Johnson, David Morse; Tango Pasodoble: Margaret Barbieri, Hendrik Davel
FP The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, 28 July 1972;
Sadler's Wells Theatre, 9 October 1972
At later performances the music was again performed in the orchestral version

ST Ballet for All, in Birth of the Royal Ballet; Yodelling Song only: FP Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, 13 October 1972

NP Birmingham Royal Ballet: original version plus Foxtrot; SC as 1940: D Polka: Sandra Madgwick; Popular Song: Samuel Armstrong, James Bailey; Tango Pasodoble: David Morse, Chenca Williams
FP Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, 2 February 1993

ST Royal Ballet Lower School: Foxtrot and Popular Song only; FP Dance East, Chandos Lodge, Eye, Sussex, 1 July 2007

By other companies:

NP Borovansky Ballet; R Laurel Martyn; SC William Constable (after John Armstrong, 1931 version): FP Australia, c. 1946

NP Repertory Ballet Theatre of New Zealand; excerpts only;
R Yvonne Cartier and Jill Beachen, after Laurel Martyn's Borovansky version: FP Auckland, New Zealand, July 1946

NP Illinois Ballet; R Richard Ellis; SC Dom Orejudos:
FP St Alphonsus Theater, Chicago IL, 25 September 1959

NP New Zealand Ballet; R Walter Trevor; SC Raymond Boyce (?):
FP South Island, New Zealand, 1960

ST Ballet of the Norske Opera: R Harold Turner; FP Opera House, Oslo, 4 October 1960

ST PACT Ballet Company; R Alexander Bennett: FP Johannesburg, 1965

ST NAPAC Ballet Company; R Joan Blakeney; FP Durban, 17 May 1966

ST Joffrey Ballet; R John Hart and Richard Ellis;
FP Auditorium Theatre, Chicago IL, 28 January 1969

ST Répétition générale for the Greatest Show on Earth; Popular Song only: D Doreen Wells, John Gilpin; Coliseum, London, 22 June 1971

NP Minnesota Dance Theatre; R Brian Shaw; S Jack Barkla
C Judy Cooper and Peter Hauschild: FP Jacob's Pillow, Lee MA, 25 July 1972

ST The Australian Ballet; R Peggy van Praagh; SC John Armstrong (1940): D Nocturne Péruvienne: Robert Helpmann; Polka: Lucette Aldous; A Débutante: Carolyn Rappel; A Dago: Robert Helpmann;
FP Princess Theatre, Melbourne, 8 September 1972

ST Chicago Ballet; R Richard Ellis and Christine Du Boulay;
SC Dom Orejudos: FP Ruth Page Foundation Theatre, Chicago IL,
2 October 1975

ST Ballet van Vlaanderen; R Joy Newton; FP Royal Opera House, Antwerp, 10 January 1976

ST Houston Ballet; R Richard Ellis; S (1931) C (1940) John Armstrong: D Tango: Gwen Verdon, Ben Stevenson
FP Jones Hall, Houston TX, 2 March 1978:

ST Washington Ballet; R Brian Shaw; D Polka: Denise Jackson; Popular Song: Gary Chryst, Jay Jolley; Tango Pasodoble: Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell
FP Palm Beach Festival, West Palm Beach Auditorium, Palm Beach FL, 22 March 1983

ST Banff Center; R Alexander Grant and Robin Ryman; FP Banff Center, Banff, Alberta, 1984

ST Royal Winnipeg Ballet; R Alexander Grant and Robin Ryman;
FP Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall, Manitoba, 26 December 1984 (taken over from Banff Center, see above)

ST Colorado Ballet; R Brian Shaw (restaged 1993 by Alexander Grant); FP Auditorium Theater, Denver CO, 22 March 1991

ST Ballet of the Teatro Regio; R Alexander Grant and Faith Worth; FP Teatro Regio, Torino, 18 January 1992

ST Oregon Ballet Theatre: R Alexander Grant and Margaret
Barbieri; FP Newmark Theatre, Portland OR, 7 May 2004

ST Images of Dance (London Studio Centre company): R Alexander Grant and Margaret Barbieri: FP Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage, 4 June 2004

ST Scottish Ballet: R Margaret Barbieri and Alexander Grant:
D Polka: Tomomi Sato; Popular Song: Glauco Di Lieto; Tango Pasodoble: Claire Robertson, Cristo Vivancos
FP Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 13 April 2005

Ballet by Frederick Ashton
M Erik Satie (Mercure, poses plastiques, 1924)
SC William Chappell
D Venus: Tamara Karsavina; Apollo: William Chappell; Three Graces: Maude Lloyd, Prudence Hyman, Elisabeth Schooling;
Mercury: Frederick Ashton; His Attendants: Betty Cuff, Suzette Morfield, Elizabeth Ruxton
FP Marie Rambert Dancers, Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, 22 June 1931

NP Camargo Society:
D Terpsichore (formerly Venus): Alicia Markova; Mercury:
Walter Gore; rest of cast as above, except that Andrée Howard replaced Elizabeth Ruxton
FP Savoy Theatre, London, 27 June 1932

[Dance Pretty Lady]
A British International Picture
Produced by Bruce Woolfe
Directed by Anthony Asquith
Screenplay by Anthony Asquith, from the novel Carnival by Compton Mackenzie
Photographed by Jack Parker
Choreographer and technical adviser for the ballet sequences:
Frederick Ashton
M John Reynolds; ballet music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, from Swan Lake and The Nutcracker
Players: Ann Casson, Carl Harbord, Flora Robson, Michael Hogan, Moore Marriott, Sunday Wilshin, Rene Ray, Hermione Gingold
D The Marie Rambert Corps de Ballet
Filmed during the summer of 1931, released 25 June 1932

Ballet in one act by Frederick Ashton
M Gavin Gordon
SC William Chappell
D Cabin Boy: Stanley Judson; Three Yachting Girls: Freda Bamford, Sheila McCarthy, Joy Newton; Two Young Men: Walter Gore, William Chappell; A Foreign Visitor: Ninette de Valois
FP Vic-Wells Ballet, Old Vic, London, 22 September 1931

ST Camargo Society; D as above except Cabin Boy: Hedley Briggs
FP Savoy Theatre, London, 13 June 1932:

The Lady of Shalott
Ballet by Frederick Ashton, after the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
M Jean Sibelius (piano pieces from op. 75, 70, and 85)
SC William Chappell
D The Lady of Shalott: Pearl Argyle; Her Reflection: Maude Lloyd; The Reapers: Prudence Hyman, Elisabeth Schooling, Betty Cuff, Suzette Morfield, William Chappell; The Lovers: Andrée Howard, Walter Gore; Sir Lancelot: Frederick Ashton
FP Ballet Club, London, 12 November 1931

A Day in a Southern Port
M Constant Lambert (The Rio Grande, 1927)
Poem by Sacheverell Sitwell
Curtain SC Edward Burra
D The Queen of the Port: Lydia Lopokova; Her Sailor: Walter Gore; A Creole Girl: Alicia Markova; A Creole Boy: William Chappell; Women of the Port, Stevedores, Stokers, Loiterers, Natives, etc: corps de ballet
FP Camargo Society, Savoy Theatre, London, 29 November 1931

NP Vic-Wells Ballet; under the title Rio Grande:
D The Queen of the Port: Beatrice Appleyard; The Creole Girl: Margot Fonteyn; The Stevedore: Walter Gore; The Creole Boy: William Chappell
FP Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, 26 March 1935

ST Royal Ballet; Tribute to Sir Frederick Ashton; Sailor's Dance only: D Alexander Grant; Royal Opera House, London, 24 July 1970

The Lord of Burleigh
Scenario by Edwin Evans
M Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, arranged by Edwin Evans, orchestrated by Gordon Jacob (Overture: Capriccio in A minor, op 33 no.1; Song Without Words in E major, op 67 no.36; Characteristic Piece, op 7 no.4; Song Without Words in A minor, op 19 no.2; in F sharp minor, op 19 no.5; Scherzo a capriccioso in F sharp minor, op 28 no.6; Song Without Words in A major (Kinderstück), op 102 no.47; Scherzo, from Octet in E flat, op 20; Song Without Words in B minor, op 30 no. 10; in E flat major, op 53 no.20; in F sharp minor, op 67 no.32; Andante cantabile e presto agitato in B minor, 1839; ?Canzonetta, from String quartet in E flat major, op 12; Finale, from Violin concerto in E minor, op 64)
SC George Sheringham
D Lady Clara Vere de Vere: Diana Gould; Katie Willows: Alicia Markova; Lilian: Andrée Howard; Mariana: Maude Lloyd; Madeline: Prudence Hyman; Adeline: Pearl Argyle; Isabel: Phyllis Stanley; Rosalind: Betty Cuff; Margaret: Elisabeth Schooling; Eleänore: Natalia Gregorova; Lord of Burleigh: William Chappell; Eustace: Walter Gore; Edwin Morris: Frederick Ashton; Edward Gray: Antony Tudor
FP Camargo Society, Carlton Theatre, London, 15 December 1931 (in a slightly abridged version)

NP Camargo Society; complete ballet, somewhat revised;
D as above, except Edwin Morris: Rollo Gamble
FP Savoy Theatre, London, 28 February 1932

NP Vic-Wells Ballet:
D Lady Clara Vere de Vere: Ursula Moreton; Katie Willows: Alicia Markova; Lilian: Sheila McCarthy; Mariana: Beatrice Appleyard; Madeline: Nadina Newhouse; Adeline: Marie Nielson; Isabel: Joy Newton; Rosalind: Ailne Phillips; Margaret: Freda Bamford; Eleänore: Gwyneth Mathews; Lord of Burleigh: Anton Dolin; Eustace: Claude Newman; Edwin Morris: Antony Tudor; Edward Gray: Travis Kemp
FP Old Vic, London, 17 October 1932

NP Vic-Wells Ballet; SC Derek Hill:
D Lady Clara Vere de Vere: Pearl Argyle; Katie Willows: Elizabeth Miller; Lilian: Julia Farron; Mariana: Ursula Moreton; Madeline: June Brae; Adeline: Gwyneth Mathews; Isabel: Pamela May; Rosalind: Wenda Horsburgh; Margaret: Margot Fonteyn; Eleänore: Joy Newton; Lord of Burleigh: Robert Helpmann; Eustace: Richard Ellis; Edwin Morris: Leslie Edwards; Edward Gray: William Chappell
FP Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, 7 December 1937

ST Royal Ballet: Tribute to Sir Frederick Ashton; solo, The Lady with the Fan only: D Deanne Bergsma; Royal Opera House, London, 24 July 1970


copyright © 2004 by David Vaughan