A Month in the Country

A Month in the Country
Zenaida Yanowsky and Rupert Pennefather
© ROH/ Tristram Kenton

Ashton - Interviews and correspondence

PDF For BBC Radio interviews click here
In the Dance Collection, New York Public Library www.nypl.org


Away from all the slander of the world
1948 letter to dancer Richard Beard, Sir Frederick Ashton discusses the creative process behind Scènes de ballet

Frederick Ashton: virtuoso
An article by Deborah Bull about Sir Frederick Ashton


Sound recordings:

• Ashton, Frederick (1969) 'Critical Comments on Isadora Duncan' [1 audio cassette, 5 min] Archival recording, dated 8 May 1969. NYPL inscription: 'Ashton discusses his impressions of Isadora Duncan and her audience.' Preservation funded by the National Initiative to Preserve American Dance.
• Gruen, John (1976) 'Interview with Sir Frederick Ashton and Anthony Dowell.' [1 audio cassette, 55 min.]
• Horosko, Marian (1968) Interviews with Margot Fonteyn, Frederick Ashton, Antoinette Sibley, and David Wood. [1 audio casette, 23 min.] Archival recording of interview used for the series World of Dance, of radio station WNYC (New York City).
• McDonagh, Don (1970) 'Interview with Sir Frederick Ashton' [1 digital sound disc, 65 min] Archival interview, 29 May, 1970: research for his article 'Au revoir?', published in Ballet Review, 3 (4): 14-19.
• Raher, David (1974) 'Interview with Frederick Ashton.' [1 sound cassette, 90 min] Frederick Asthton recorded in July, 1974. Oral history archive: Gift of David Raher.
• Terry, Walter (1953) 'Interview with Frederick Ashton' [1 audio casette, 28 min.] Recorded for the first program in the 1953-1954 season of Walter Terry's series, Dance Laboratory, 18 Oct. 1953, YM-YWHA (New York City).
• Vaughan, David (1973) 'Series of interviews on Frederick Ashton in preparation for book Frederick Ashton and His Ballets.' [6 audio cassettes, 8:46] Cassettes 1-3: Frederick Ashton recorded July 3, Aug. 9 and 10, 1973 (5 hrs.). Other cassettes: Derek Jarman (Aug. 1973, 40 min.); Alicia Markova (Sep. 6, 1973, 53 min.); William Chappell (Sep. 12, 1973, 48 min.); Peggy Van Praagh (Sept. 20, 1973, 31 min.); John Lanchbery (Oct. 9, 1973, 15 min.); Margot Fonteyn (Dec. 8, 1973, 39 min.)
• Kendall, Elizabeth (1979) Trailblazers of Modern Dance: Sound Recording, June 25, 1977 (relating to the television program Trailblazers of modern dance, which was telecast on the Dance in America WNET/13, New York, on Jan. 4, 1979). Includes a brief discussion of Isadora Duncan by Frederick Ashton. Director: Emile Ardolino. Producers: Merrill Brockway and Judy Kinberg. New York: WNET/13.
• Interview with Edwin Denby [and] Conversation with Edwin Denby and Don McDonagh, Arlene Croce et.al. (1969) [5 audio discs] Includes discussion of Ashtons works: Enigma Variations and Monotones. (Gift of Don McDonagh, opened in Aug 2012)


• Doob, Penelope Reed (1978) 'A conversation with Sir Frederick Ashton.' York Dance Review, 7 (Spring): 16-25. (Published print version of the interview recorded in Toronto, November 1976. The conversation was broadcast on The Dance, CBC-FM network program, February 1977.)

Monotones 2

Monotones 2
Marianela Nuñez, Edward Watson, Federico Bonelli
© ROH/ Tristram Kenton


• Ashton correspondence and contracts regarding American Ballet Theatre, 1936-1937. In: American Ballet Theatre records, NYPL.
• Ashton correspondence 1938-1950 regarding Devil's Holiday. Sergei Denham's Documents regarding Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo, folder 1393, NYPL.
• Ashton correspondence with Ruth Page and Thomas H. Fisher, 1951-53. (9 items) Ruth Page Collection, NYPL.
• Ashton and Maria Bekefi. Includes signed letters from Ashton (to Bekefi), no date.
• Ashton and Lincoln Kirstein. Letters and notes by Frederick Ashton. New York Public Library Catalogue description: 'Includes an autograph letter, signed, regarding future plans, to choreograph Don Juan and Symphonic Variations. Also includes notes on Ashton's Les Illuminations, annotated by Ashton (in pencil) and Lincoln Kirstein (in ink).' Lincoln Kirstein Papers, 1914-1991.
• Ashton and Alex Martin. Includes a note from Ashton (to Martin), no date.

Laura Morera, Principal, The Royal Ballet:

"Ashton for me is pure musicality. The contrast between the speedy sharp footwork and the softness of the upper body challenges and rewards equally. As a female dancer I love how his ballets make you feel feminine, the curves of his movement almost celebrating the natural beauty of a woman's body"