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Symphonic Variations was one of the first ballets performed on the main stage of the Royal Opera House in 1946 – this stream marks the work's 75th anniversary.
It is widely thought to be among Ashton’s greatest. Danced to César Franck’s brooding Variations Symphoniques for piano and orchestra, it was originally intended to be loosely based on the four seasons, but the piece developed into something more abstract, while remaining visually beautiful, with moments of stillness and serenity as well as speed and excitement.
Symphonic Variations was created for just six dancers, who form a series of combinations – sextets, quartets, duets and solos – perfectly mirroring the evolution of Franck's engaging score.
In this 2017 recording, the performers include Royal Ballet principals Marianela Nuñez, Yasmine Naghdi and Vadim Muntagirov.
Should you be interested in finding out a little more about this extraordinary work, the short video below features the reminiscences of one of the original performers, Henry Danton, alongside the views of current principals and snatches of rehearsal. Well worth a watch!
Still available to stream for £3 each:
- Elite Syncopations, The Royal Ballet (2020), available until Sunday 11 April
- The Dream, The Royal Ballet (2017), available until Sunday 18 April
- Concerto, The Royal Ballet (2019), available until Sunday 25 April
|What||The Royal Ballet streams Symphonic Variations|
|Where||Online | MAP|
02 Apr 21 – 02 May 21, 19:00 and available to download for four weeks after