This historic program immortalizes a gala evening of classical ballet featuring the legendary team of Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn. An Evening With the Royal Ballet has been critically acclaimed as a chance to view the pinnacle of ballet achievement.
In An Evening with the Royal Ballet
(1963), Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, the most famous ballet partnership of the 20th century, dance together in the first two numbers, a dreamily romantic treatment of Les Sylphides
, with the choreography by Michel Fokine, and a dazzling pas de deux from Le Corsaire
. Les Sylphides
is treated as an ensemble number, with full involvement by the Covent Garden company as well as graceful solos by the two stars. Le Corsaire
, as choreographed by Nureyev, gives him opportunities to display his remarkable technique but also allows Fonteyn to shine.
Neither appears in Frederick Ashton's choreography for La Valse, which gets to the heart of Ravel's music in a visually impressive treatment. In "Aurora's Wedding" from Sleeping Beauty choreographed by Marius Petipa, Fonteyn dances beautifully with David Blair, an excellent Florimund, though not on the Nureyev level. "Aurora's Wedding" has many brilliant solos and, like La Valse, is an impressive showcase for the company. --Joe McLellan