Asphodel Meadows/The Two Pigeons
at Royal Opera House
Ballets by Founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton and Royal Ballet Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett share the stage in this mixed programme with music by Messager and Poulenc. Sheer romantic charm sums up Ashton's version of The Two Pigeons (1961). It has Messager's ever-tuneful score alongside a touching love story of a brief flirtation that threatens a young couple's relationship. The imagery of birds is wittily part of the choreography that contrasts bohemian Paris with the darker passions of a gypsy camp. Liam Scarlett's Asphodel Meadows was enthusiastically acclaimed at its premiere in 2010. Set to music by another French composer, Poulenc, it shows how the line and lyricism of Ashton continue into the contemporary Royal Ballet repertory and defining style.