Cinderella at Royal Opera House from 7 April 2011 to 6 May 2011

The combination of story, music and dance in The Royal Ballet’s Cinderella is a great way for all ages to discover the joy of great ballet. The famous fairytale elements are there: the spiteful Step-sisters, the Fairy Godmother, the ball, the striking clock. And at the centre is Cinderella whose rags-to-riches journey finally unites her with her handsome Prince.

Frederick Ashton’s ballet is especially demanding in its principal roles – with moments of breathtaking brilliance and great charm. It is the perfect way to enjoy some of the world’s greatest dancers bringing ballet to life. There are magical moments, as when Cinderella makes her entrance to the ball and her pas de deux with the Prince. But there is also humour with the Step-sisters, tussling with each other as well as failing to charm anyone else.

Prokofiev’s music is one of the great 20th-century ballet scores – here conducted by Pavel Sorokin and Royal Ballet Music Director BarryWordsworth – so rich in atmosphere and full of orchestral colour, a perfect complement to the stage pictures. Everything comes together for a perfect Easter treat with The Royal Ballet.

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Cinderella at Royal Opera House from 20 Nov 2010 to 29 Dec 2010

The combination of story, music and dance in The Royal Ballet’s Cinderella is hard to beat. All the elements of the story are there: the spiteful Step-sisters, the fairy godmother, the ball, the striking clock. And at the centre is Cinderella whose rags-to-riches journey unites her with her handsome prince.

Frederick Ashton created a ballet that is both demanding of its principals and full of great charm – the perfect way to enjoy some of the world’s greatest dancers bringing ballet to life. There are magical moments, as when Cinderella makes her entrance to the ball and her pas de deux with the Prince. But there is also humour and character with the Step-sisters, tussling with each other as well as failing to charm anyone else.

Prokofiev’s music is one of the great 20th-century ballet scores, so rich in atmosphere and full of orchestral colour, a perfect complement.

Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia at Royal Opera House

Only restored in its entirety in 2004, Frederick Ashton’s Sylvia at once showed itself a fine combination of all the ingredients of the best of classical ballet.

The story, from Greek myth, has Sylvia at the centre of dramatic events that have a statue come to life, Sylvia’s abduction by the evil hunter Orion, and her dead lover Aminta restored to life through the intervention of the god Eros.

The title role – created for Margot Fonteyn – requires a technical skill and classical elegance to challenge any ballerina to the full. But the accompanying host of characters and ensembles also allow the Company the chance to draw on its full range of dance and dramatic experience.

The music by Delibes, who is maybe better known today for Coppelia, is considered one of the finest of 19th-century ballet scores. It was much admired in its own day, and rightly so for its sheer variety and melodious appeal.

Rich classical designs for this production were inspired by the art of Lorrain, Poussin and others to create a beautiful setting for the story. Lovely to look at and delightful to hear, Sylvia is a complete experience of classical ballet at its best.

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