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Read about the evolution of this ballet
Find out more about the Producer of the ballet
Read how Paquita allows the girls to shine after the male-dominated Edward II
Nine Sinatra Songs
How Sinatra inspired the dance
What built the choreographer's reputation?
Read what the critics have said about previous BRB performances of the ballet
Daphnis and Chloë
Find out about the original creative team behind the ballet
Find out about the characters in the ballet
Charmed Life: John Craxton RA
Find out about the artist responsible for the ballet's designs
Daphnis and ChloŽ
This work represents something of a rarity for Birmingham Royal Ballet, being a Frederick Ashton ballet that the Company haven't danced before. Already being lauded as the personal highlight of the season by many members of the ballet staff, the piece tells the story of the two lovers of the title, and how, with the help of the god Pan, Daphnis saves his sweetheart after she is kidnapped by pirates.
The piece had a particularly complicated birth, with creative input being offered by Sergei Diaghilev, choreographer Mikhail Fokine, and composer Maurice Ravel. Although all had already established names for themselves, they still had much to prove, and while the three shared an overall unified vision, the keenness of each to bring their own elements resulted in regular conflict.
Even upon the completion of the work, Diaghilev staged it rarely, and often without the choir for whom Ravel had written considerable parts in his score. Ravel and Fokine, however, always thought favourably of the final work, and the choreographer continued to stage the work over the next 20 years. In addition to the ballet performances, Ravel went on to create two popular concert suites from the score, excerpts of which were included in the Royal Ballet Sinfonia's Evening of Music and Dance at the end of March 2007.
Frederick Ashton's Daphnis and ChloŽ, with sets and costumes by John Craxton, opened at the Royal Opera House on 4 April 1951, with Margot Fonteyn as ChloŽ, Michael Somes as Daphnis, Violetta Elvin as Lykanion and John Field as Dorkon. A new production, with designs by Martyn Bainbridge, opened on 10 November 1994, with Trinidad Sevillano, Stuart Cassidy, Benazir Hussein and Adam Cooper.
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