Les Rendezvous is a plotless one-act ballet created in 1933, with choreography by Frederick Ashton to the music of Daniel Auber (the ballet music from his opera L'enfant prodigue) arranged by Constant Lambert and with designs by William Chappell. It was the first major ballet created by Ashton for the Vic-Wells company.
It was first performed on Tuesday, 5 December 1933 by Vic-Wells Ballet at Sadler's Wells Theatre, with Alicia Markova and Stanislas Idzikowsky in the lead roles; these were later taken by Margot Fonteyn and Robert Helpmann. The choreography was revised in 1934 and the work was performed every season up to 1945, then from 1959 to 1963, when it used the set by Sophie Fedorovitch for Act 1 of La Traviata. It was revived in 1984 by Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet to celebrate Ashton’s 80th birthday, and by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in 2000 with updated sets. The ballet has also been produced by companies in Norway, the US and Japan.
Les Rendezvous was Ashton’s "first substantial classical composition and an exultant statement of his idiosyncratic approach to academic ballet." It consists of a succession of light-hearted dances in a park, where friends meet and socialise. The ballet was designed to show off the brilliance and style of Markova and the elevation and technical skill of Idzikowsky.
Order of numbers:
- Entrée des Promeneurs (company)
- Pas de quatre: (four girls)
- Male Variation
- Adage des Amoureux (two leads)
- Pas de trois (girl and two boys)
- Female Variation
- Pas de six: (six boys)
- Sortie des Promeneurs (company)
- Bland A. The Royal Ballet – the first 50 years. Threshold Books, London, 1981.
- Kavanagh J. Secret Muses: The Life of Frederick Ashton. Faber & Faber Ltd, London, 1996.
- Programme note for Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Christmas season at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, 25 September to 6 October 1984.