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Watch: Insights into Kenneth MacMillan’s Anastasia

Get a glimpse into rehearsals for the much-anticipated revival of MacMillan's dramatic ballet based on the story of Anna Anderson.

By Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer)

21 September 2016 at 3.53pm | 8 Comments

A recent ROH Insights event exploring Kenneth MacMillan's ballet Anastasia is now available to watch on-demand via the Royal Opera House YouTube channel.

Presented by Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare, the event offered audiences an exclusive glimpse of the Company's revival of AnastasiaDeborah MacMillan revealed why her late husband Kenneth found inspiration in the true story of Anna Anderson – a woman who famously believed herself to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, the sole survivor of the Romanov family who were assassinated during The Russian Revolution.

Writer and broadcaster on Russian Studies Viv Groskop provided further context on Anderson, who was ultimately institutionalized after she refused to reveal or accept her real identity.

The event also included a live rehearsal with The Royal Ballet, featuring interviews with the dancers and their coaches.

Anastasia was originally created in 1967 for Deutsche Oper Ballet as a one-act ballet. It was a stylistically daring piece that explored how memory and fantasy overlap. When MacMillan was appointed Director of The Royal Ballet in 1970, adapting Anastasia into a three-act, full length ballet was one of his first creative endeavours. He added two new acts, using music by Tchaikovsky and opted for a more classical style of dance to create one of the most experimental and poignant works in the repertory.

Anastasia runs 26 October-12 November 2016. Tickets are still available.

The production will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 2 November 2016. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.

This article has 8 comments

  1. Simon Smith responded on 22 September 2016 at 7:54am Reply

    Thank you all for this fascinating Insight relay. Looking forward even more to seeing Anastasia at the ROH and in the cinema. The Insight programme is a wonderful extra and it's so good that many of the evenings are livestreamed and made available on the web, particularly for those who can't readily get to London and when tickets are scarce.

  2. David responded on 22 September 2016 at 11:46am Reply

    I thought this was a fascinating programme and I thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the excellent analysis by Viv Groskop and the contributions by Deborah MacMillan et al. Hopefully these will find their way into a DVD/blu-ray if and when, following the live cinema relay, one is issued. And what a joy to see Viviana Durante back at the Royal Ballet!

  3. Nina Battleday responded on 22 September 2016 at 12:15pm Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyed watching this. Please keep showing Insights in this way.

  4. Barbara Frank responded on 23 September 2016 at 7:49pm Reply

    Would love to see this in cinema. Again this year nothing is listed for Philadelphia. Why?

  5. NNou responded on 3 October 2016 at 6:14pm Reply

    Hi, the absence of timing for this performance is an inconvenience for people like me who have to plan their journey back & forth. Would you be so kind so as to give an approximate timing asap ?

    • Rose Slavin (Former Assistant Content Producer) responded on 5 October 2016 at 3:12pm

      Hi Pierra,
      The performance lasts about 2 hours 45 minutes, including two intervals. Timings will be updated on the production page shortly.
      All best wishes,

  6. L Y Han responded on 12 October 2016 at 7:55pm Reply

    Can't wait to see the ballet now. I have always been fascinated by the Romanov and Anastasia story since I was a kid. The true sad story still outshines the romantic version.

  7. Excellent Insights evening! Thank you to everyone who took part and who brought it to the website. Wonderful work. I have always liked this 3-act version and Bob Crowley's designs.

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