Sir Frederick Ashton(1904-1988), Founder-choreographer and Director of the Royal Ballet
Sitter in 30 portraits
Ashton created his first ballet A Tragedy of Fashion in 1926. Choreographing several pieces for the Vic-Wells Ballet he joined the company in 1935. As resident choreographer, he worked with the young Fonteyn, who became his muse. Among his greatest ballets are Symphonic Variations (1946), Scènes de Ballet (1948), La Fille mal gardée (1960), The Dream (1964), and A Month in the Country (1976). Knighted in 1962, he became director of the company the following year. In 1970 he was made a Companion of Honour and awarded the Order of Merit in 1977. His later ballets include Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan (1979, created for Lynn Seymour) and Rhapsody (1980).
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Francis Goodman
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 3 April 1952