The Royal Ballet – Anastasia (Encore)
Kenneth Macmillan’s full-length ballet is a compelling exploration of identity in the turbulent wake of the Russian revolution. An identity in crisis; a country in revolution. Anastasia is a ballet about one of the great historical mysteries of the 20th century, only recently solved. At the height of the Russian Revolution the royal family were executed, but afterwards a young woman appeared – apparently a surviving royal princess, the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Known as ‘Anna Anderson’, she couldn’t remember her past and she was presumed to be an imposter. Many wanted to forget the massacre and the Revolution; many believed, or hoped, that a princess could have survived, a remnant of the old world. One of Kenneth MacMillan’s first creations on becoming Director of The Royal Ballet in 1970, Anastasia is a dramatic and haunting exploration of Anna’s nightmare of memory and identity. To music by Tchaikovsky and Martinů, we follow the events leading to the murder of a family, and Anna’s confused dreams – or memories. A powerful, psychological challenge for the principal ballerina, this is a rare opportunity to see a landmark ballet by a major choreographer.