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Rhapsody was created in 1980 and is one of Frederick Ashton’s final works – a virtuoso conclusion to his series of non-narrative ballets. It was created on acclaimed Russian dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, who requested the Ashton commission and whose personality is at the heart of the work. The male Principal role is characterized by exceptionally fluent leaps, turns and lightness of movement. It is twinned with the strength and grace of the ballerina, a role created on the pure, fleet-footed style of former Royal Ballet Principal Lesley Collier.The ballet is set to Sergey Rachmaninoff’s well-known Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which moves from stormy passages to calmer interludes. The premiere of Rhapsody was given at the Royal Opera House in honour of Ashton’s close friend Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

 Read more Read less Duration: 36 min
  • Principals: Natalia Osipova, Steven McRae
  • Dancers: Emma Maguire, Yasmine Naghdi, Beatrix Stix-Brunell, Luca Acri, Tristan Dyer, Nicol Edmonds, Benjamin Ella, Kevin Emerton, Marcelino Sambé
  • Choreographer: Frederic Ashton
  • Composer: Sergey Rachmaninoff
  • Conductor: Barry Wordsworth
  • Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House