Sir Frederick Ashton

(17 September 1904 – 18 August 1988)

ls_ashton_cig_500
ls_ashton_cig_500
7371373054_6098b5fa51_z
7371373054_6098b5fa51_z
ashton_leda_500-rehersing-the-ballet-clun
ashton_leda_500-rehersing-the-ballet-clun
6171434563_c06ec69579
6171434563_c06ec69579
6171434489_b4d8217292
6171434489_b4d8217292
NextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnailNextGen ScrollGallery thumbnail
 

Frederick Ashton was a ballet dancer and choreographer and director. His decision to become a dancer was inspired when, at a young age, he saw Anna Pavlova perform in Peru where he spent his early years. Ashton came to London at 15 and after three years of boarding school he took up a dreary job. He started ballet lessons on Saturdays and eventually persuaded his family that he should train full time. 

Ashton’s teacher Marie Rambert saw his potential and entrusted him with a role in his first ballet “A Tragedy of Fashion”. He choreographed regularly for Rambert and then moved on to work for Ninette de Valois and the Vic-Wells ballet. It was here he began his long and succesful working relationship with Margot Fonteyn. After the second world war, the company moved to Covent Garden and Ashton proved he could choreograph for a bigger stage. Ashton choreographed pieces to showcase Fonteyn’s unique talents. His version of “La Fille Mal Gardee” (1960) was particularly successful. He also performed annually for many years in a comic role as one of Cinderella’s ugly step sisters. Ashton is widely credited with the creation of a specifically English genre of ballet. Among his best-known works are “Façade” (1931), “Symphonic Variations” (1946), “Cinderella” (1948), “Monotones” I and II (1965), “Enigma Variations”(1968) and the feature film ballet “The Tales of Beatrix Potter”(1970).

Ashton was director of the Royal Ballet from 1963-1970. He also enjoyed a succesful career away from ballet, choreographing films, revues and musicals.