The Royal Ballet
Monica Mason, Director
"Astonishing…theatrical vitality. With Manon, The Royal Ballet triumphantly demonstrates that it remains one of the world's great companies."
--The New York Times
Based at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, The Royal Ballet is Great Britain's most prestigious ballet company. Returning to the Kennedy Center for the first time in three years, the Company performs two eagerly anticipated programs. The first is Kenneth MacMillan's three-act narrative ballet Manon (June 25–June 28), based on the classic French novel Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost and set to music by Massenet. A cautionary tale full of deadly sins, the ballet follows a beautiful young woman whose plan to run away with a handsome student--and with money stolen from her would-be suitor--ultimately turns disastrous. Whisking its doomed lovers from a moonlit Parisian courtyard to a high-society brothel and finally to the gritty streets and swamps of New Orleans, Manon "remains an irresistible combination of immorality, opulence, suffering, and tears" (Financial Times).
The Royal Ballet will also present a mixed repertory program (June 23 & 24) featuring three works specifically created for the Company. Founding choreographer Frederick Ashton's much-loved A Month in the Country features music by Chopin and beautiful period designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman. The ballet follows the emotional drama of Turgenev's play, in which a young tutor's presence disturbs the calm of a Russian household. Christopher Wheeldon's DGV (Danse à grande vitesse) is an imaginative meditation on travel created for the Company in 2006. London's Guardian hailed it as "stunning…a thing of grand scale and hurtling momentum." And resident choreographer Wayne McGregor's Chroma--which won the 2006 Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production--is a taut, jazzy suite for five couples with mesmerizing movements and a glowing white cube of a set.
Manon (Thu., June 25–Sat., June 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Sat., June 27 & Sun., June 28 at 1:30 p.m.)
Choreography by Kenneth MacMillan
Music by Jules Massenet
Timing: 2 hrs., 44 min. with two 25-minute intermissions: Act I - 42 min.; Act II - 46 min.; Act III - 25 min.
Mixed Repertory Program (Tue., June 23 & Wed., June 24 at 7:30 p.m.)
Chroma (25 min.)
Choreography by Wayne McGregor
Music by Joby Talbot and the White Stripes
A Month in the Country (44 min.)
Choreography by Frederick Ashton
Music by Frédéric Chopin
DGV (Danse à grande vitesse) (29 min.)
Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon
Music by Michael Nyman
Timing: 2 hrs., 39 min. with two 25-minute intermissions.
PRINCIPAL CASTING (subject to change)
Tue., June 23 at 7:30 p.m.
A Month in the Country
Zenaida Yanowsky and Rupert Pennefather
Wed., June 24 at 7:30 p.m.
A Month in the Country
Alexandra Ansanelli and Ivan Putrov
Thu., June 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Tamara Rojo and Carlos Acosta
Fri., June 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg
Sat., June 27 at 1:30 p.m. (mat.)
Roberta Marquez and David Makhateli
Sat., June 27 at 7:30 p.m. (eve.)
Leanne Benjamin and Federico Bonelli
Sun., June 28 at 1:30 p.m. (mat.)
Mara Galeazzi and Edward Watson