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2004 marks the centenary of the birth of Frederick Ashton, Founder Choreographer of The Royal Ballet, whose work defined the English style of ballet. Inspired to dance by Anna Pavlova, encouraged by Ninette de Valois (Founder of the Royal Ballet), Ashton's career as dancer, choreographer and director, spans the Company's history from its earliest days. His influence is still seen today in the repertory and style that informs the Company, with ballets such as La Fille mal gardée, Ondine and Façade.
This is the first of a series of books in the Royal Opera House Heritage Series, featuring a unique collection of images from the Royal Opera House Archives. The Series celebrates some of the legendary figures from the world of ballet and opera who have been associated with the Royal Opera House and its resident Companies, The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera.