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Ashton: The Dream / Symphonic Variations / Marguerite and Armand Blu-ray

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Enjoy a wonderful trio of Frederick Ashton's finest ballets on blu-ray: The Dream, Symphonic Variations and Marguerite & Armand.

The Dream is an enchanting adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream that features the enticing pairing of Akane Takada and Steven McRae as Titania and Oberon. Symphonic Variations is an early Ashton masterpiece, a breathtaking, abstract work on the beauty of pure movement that includes Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov amongst its superb cast. Finally, the tragic love story Marguerite and Armand is danced here by former Royal Ballet Principal Zenaida Yanowsky in her farewell appearance on the Covent Garden main stage, alongside the world-renowned Roberto Bolle.

See our full collection of ballet Blu-rays and DVDs

The Dream
Titania: Akane Takada
Oberon: Steven McRae
Choreographer: Frederick Ashton
Designer: David Walker
Lighting: John B. Read
Music: Felix Mendelssohn
Arrangement: John Lanchbery

Symphonic Variations
Marianela Nuñez, Vadim Muntagirov, Yasmine Naghdi, James Hay, Yuhui Choe, Tristan Dyer
Choreographer: Frederick Ashton
Designer: Sophie Fedorovitch
Lighting: John B. Read
Music: César Franck
Solo piano: Paul Stobart

Marguerite and Armand
Marguerite: Zenaida Yanowsky
Armand: Roberto Bolle
Choreographer: Frederick Ashton
Designer: Cecil Beaton
Lighting: John B. Read

Music: Franz Liszt
Orchestration: Dudley Simpson
Solo piano: Robert Clark

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Conductor: Emmanuel Plasson

Extra Features: Introduction to The Dream; Bottom on pointe; Introduction to Symphonic Variations; Interview with Zenaida Yanowsky

Sound: LPCM 2.0, DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Format: Blu-ray
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Duration: 138 mins
Year: 2017

The Dream

"Steven McRae and Akane Takada portray Oberon and Titania as dangerously otherworldly creatures. Their skimmingly fast footwork and effortless jumps scintillate with light and air" The Guardian

"Akada sparkles with Ashtonian sexiness, all orgasmic flutters and quivers. McRae is splendidly fey as Oberon, and has all the sprezzatura that taller dancers struggle to find in the part's show-off turning variations." The Arts Desk

Symphonic Variations

"[Symphonic Variations is] a fiercely difficult ballet to sustain, yet it’s honoured this season by some excellent performances: Marianela Nuñez reaches for both gravity and radiance, with Vadim Muntagirov her quietly impressive partner." The Guardian

"Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov led an assured revival of Symphonic Variations, floating through the spacious, intricate steps." The Independent

Marguerite and Armand

"Saying farewell to the Royal Ballet after 23 years, Yanowsky shows her quality as an actress, a dancer and a star... It’s a very moving goodbye." The Independent

"Zenaida Yanowsky gives a tremendously intense and intelligent performance as the tragic courtesan." The Stage