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Frederick Ashton

For his centenary, Ashton's work is being revived with what may be a final flourish.

By Nadine Meisner   October 2004

Frederick Ashton might have been a quintessential Englishman of the old school. He was a knight, a companion of honour and a recipient of the order of merit. He was a close friend of the Queen Mother, whose congratulatory note on his OM said, accurately, “you have put our English ballet on a pinnacle,” and illustrated this with a jaunty drawing of a ballerina on a mountain peak. A list of his friends reads like a roll call of high society. They enjoyed his wit and his light, self-deprecating manner.

Below the frivolity, though, lay insecurity and a hard-driven talent.…

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