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History of British Ballet

History of British Ballet

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History of British Ballet

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  1. From the Diaghilev era up to Frederick Ashton. History of British Ballet • Learning Objectives: • Develop your understanding of the history of British Ballet. • Develop your knowledge of the two pioneering company's of British Ballet. • Homework: • Compare and contrast the two founding company’s of British Ballet.

  2. The end of the Diaghilev era • Ballet Russes was established in 1909, the company performed up until his death in 1929. • Property was claimed by creditors. • Two new companies formed: Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo: Colonel Wassily De Basil & Rene Blum, Choreographers -George Balachine & Leonide Massine Original Ballet Russe: Rene Blum • World War II - Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo toured America extensively. • Original Ballet Russe toured Europe. • Many dancers went off and taught in America and Europe. • Ballet Rambert and Sadlers Wells Company both picked key memebers of Ballet Russes. • This led to the founding of the Carmogo Society in London.

  3. Key Facts • Diaghilev died in 1929. • Ballet Russes became split into 2 companies: Ballets Russses de Monte Carlo: De Basil – toured America Original Ballet Russe: Blum – toured Europe • The split of Ballet Russes found the Carmogo Society in London – Ninette de Valois & Marie Rambert were members.

  4. Marie Rambert • Polish-Jewish dancer/teacher. • Assisted Nijinska in Ballet Russes ‘The Rite of Spring’ 1913. • Stayed with Ballet Russes for a season as a dancer in the corps. • Studied in Cecchetti ballet. • Founder of Ballet Rambert the first British ballet company. • 1920 opened ballet school – from this emerged a small performing group in 1926 – Marie Rambert Dancers (Ballet Rambert in 1935). • Nurtured many of Britain’s most important choreographers – Ashton, Tudor, Howard, Staff, Gore, Morrice and Cranko. • An inspired talent scout and known as a bully. • Her school produced many renowned dancers – Argyle, Gould, Lloyd, Franca, Gilmour, Aldous and Turner. • Productions represented her wit, taste, and sharp instinct for trends.

  5. Key Facts • Marie Rambert – founder of first British ballet company. • 1920: Opened ballet school. • 1926: Marie Rambert Dancers – small performing group. • 1935: Changed company name to Ballet Rambert. • Productions represent her wit, taste and sharp instinct for trends.

  6. Ballet Rambert • Based at London’s Mercury Theatre • Performed in the London Ballet at the Arts Club – 1940-1. • 1943 – Regarded as a national touring company with public funding. • After the war the company staged its first full length classic – Giselle (1932). • During the 1950’s due to the response of the public’s change in taste – it was increasingly forced to tour small scale productions of 19th century ballets rather than new work. • In 1966 under direction of Norman Morrice the company abandoned its classical roots and became a small scale modern dance troupe.

  7. Key Facts • Company was based at London’s Mercury Theatre. • 1932: Staged its first full length ballet – Giselle • 1939-45: Touring became important after the outbreak of the war. • 1943: Regarded as a national touring company with public funding.

  8. Ballet Rambert • 1950’s: public response changed the company was increasingly forced to tour 19th century ballets rather than new work. • 1966: Norman Morrice took over direction, he abandened its classical roots and became a modern dance company. • Eventually they altered the name to Rambert Dance Company in 1987. • Works: • A Tradegy of Fashion 1926 Frederick Ashton • L’Apres Midi d’un Faune 1931 Vaslav Nijinsky • Facade 1931 Frederick Ashton • Giselle 1932 Frederick Ashton • Fayer de danse 1932 Frederick Ashton • Les Masques 1933 Frederick Ashton • The Mermaid 1934 Andree Howard & Susan Salaman

  9. Ninette de Valois • Founded the Choreographic Art Academy. • Britains National Ballet Company – Royal Ballet. • 1931 de valois moved her school into the newly re-opened Sadler’s Wells Theatre and established a small company of dancers. • First performance at Old Vic Theatre 5th May 1931. • First performance at Sadler’s wells 15th May 1931. • 1935 based solely at Sadler’s wells. • Ashton joined in 1933 as choreographer and dancer – in 1931 he choreographed Regatta as guest choreographer. • Internationally renowned choreographers like Massine, Balanchine and Petit began staging works for the company – such as Le Tricorne (1947), Ballet Imperial (1950), and Ballabile (1950).

  10. Key Facts • Founded the Choreographic Art Academy. • Britain’s National Ballet Company – Royal Ballet. • 1931: move her school into the newly re-opened Sadler’s Wells Theatre. • 1935: Became solely based on the Sadler’s Wells.

  11. Royal Ballet • Sadlers Wells larger company • Established reputation before the war with: Checkmate 1937 De Valois & Horoscope 1938 Ashton. • The company split – Royal Ballet & Sadlers Wells Ballet (Birmingham Royal Ballet) • In 1946 became a resident at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. • In 1990 Sadlers Wells Ballet moved to Birmingham Hippodrome. • In 1997 Birmingham Royal Ballet became independent of the Royal Opera House. • De • Valois her choreography was ‘nothing like the talent of Ashton’ (Anderson, Z. 2006:5) Ashton created over 100 original ballet works and numerous other productions: • A Month in the Country • Cinderella • Dante Sonata • La Fille mal gardée • Les Patinoires • Regatta • Romeo and Juliet • Symphonic Variations • The Dream

  12. Key Facts • Royal Ballet was a much larger company than Rambert. • Established a reputation before the war with: Checkmate (1937) Ninette de Valois Horoscope (1938) Frederick Ashton • Company split into 2: Royal Ballet & Sadler’s Wells Ballet. • 1990: Sadler’s Wells Ballet moved to Birmingham Hippodrome and was renamed to Birmingham Royal Ballet.

  13. Cinderella • Royal ballet • 1948 • Frederick Ashton • First 3 Act ballet • ‘Ashton made classical dances of strange, expressive force’ (Anderson, Z. 2006:98). • Cinderella’s arrival at the ball.

  14. The Ballet Club Era • Private ran organisation established by Ashley Dukes. • 1933 – Licensed as the Mercury Theatre. • 1930’s Royal Ballet and Ballet Rambert were interlinked – De Valois did not train males until mid 1930’s. • De Valois frequently hired male dancers from Rambert. • Performed once or twice a week, both founders avoided clashes over their respective performances.

  15. Historical Context • By 1928 all women over 21 were given the vote. • 1928 –The first ‘talkie’ film with dialogue is shown in Britain. • In 1930 over 2 million people in Britain were unemployed and remained so until 1936. • During the strife torn period there were 2 police strikes, a national rail strike, 2 national coal strikes, a 2 month ship builders strike, a 2 month engineering strike and violent demonstrations by the jobless. • The working class became unionised, and labour relations deteriorated. The culmination was the General Strike in May 1926, when some 2 million key workers went on strike over plans to reduce wages and lengthen working hours.