Birthday Offering / A Month In The Country / Les Noces is a mixed bill of works by Frederick Ashton and Bronislava Nijinska.
Frederick Ashton created Birthday Offering in 1956 to celebrate The Royal Ballet’s 25th anniversary, encapsulating the style of Marius Petipa and the Russian Imperial Ballet from whose traditions the founder of The Royal Ballet Ninette de Valois had nurtured the roots of British ballet.
Rather than following a specific narrative, Birthday Offering presents a series of solos, duets and ensemble pieces celebrating the dancers' distinctive qualities and the unique heritage of The Royal Ballet.
A Month In The Country
A Month In The Country tells the story of Belyaev, a young tutor, whose arrival at the home of a Russian family sends ripples through the household. For Natalya, an unfulfilled but passionate housewife, it stirs up powerful emotions.
An adaptation of the Ivan Turgenev play of the same name, A Month In The Country showcases Ashton’s genius for conveying complex narrative through choreography.
Les Noces features a young bride and groom, attended by their families and members of the community, performing a series of rituals in preparation for their wedding.
First performed by the Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev in 1923 at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris, Les Noces uses stark sets alongside costumes taken from Russian peasant dress, which were designed by Natalia Goncharova for the original.