24 June 2021 9.30-10.30am BST

Ballet in the 20th Century: Bronislava Nijinska and Sir Frederick Ashton: Choreographic Connections (Webinar)

The webinar will introduce the choreographic connections and developments of three iconic ballets, Les Biches and Le Train Bleu from 1924, and Les Patineurs (1937), through the visions of Bronislava Nijinska (1891-1972) and Sir Frederick Ashton (1904-1988).

The webinar will explore the choreographic connections between the works by Nijinska and Ashton, bringing together the thematic and narrative treatments of characterisation, and the heritage of Enrico Cecchetti’s approach to ballet as vocabulary and style.

Participants will gain insight into selected moments from the choreographic works, including the heritage and developments in the pas de deux (as direct lineage to the ballets of Marius Petipa), and intriguing use of classicism and characterisation to support the theme of the ballet. As part of the webinar, participants will be prompted to reflect on the choreography observed and the contributions made by both Nijinska and Ashton, through watching selected film clips and reviewing a selection of writings on these ballets.


The aims of this webinar are to:

  • Provide insights into the shifts in classicism in ballet repertoire, and the legacies of Bronislava Nijinska and Sir Frederick Ashton in the early parts of the 20th Century
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of the choreography seen in Nijinska’s Les Biches (1924), Le Train Bleu (1924), and Ashton’s Les Patineurs (1937)
  • Gain appreciation of commonalities between the balletic styles in Nijinska and Ashton’s selected works, including the legacy of Enrico Cecchetti (as part of the Italian school of training)

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this webinar, participants will:

  • have an increased understanding of early 20th century ballet repertoire and revitalisation of choreography in the 1920s and 1930s
  • have enhanced understanding of the legacy of the Italian school of training (with respect to the teachings of Enrico Cecchetti)
  • be able to recognise some of the choreographic features associated with the selected case studies and choreographers
  • have awareness of the observational and analytical skills required for examining choreographic structures within solos, two pas de deux (Perlouse and the Handsome Man in Le Train Bleu; the White Couple in Les Patineurs)


You will access the webinar via GoToWebinar. You will receive further information within five working days prior to the live broadcast. This webinar will be recorded. You need to book a webinar before the date and time of the live broadcast to guarantee you will have access to the recording.


You will require the following resources:

  • A computer/laptop/tablet with internet connection
  • Speakers or headphones

Webinar Presenter

Dr Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel is Head of Research in the Faculty of Education, editor of Focus on Education, and has essays and articles published in the Dance Chronicle, the South African Dance Journal, The Times of Malta, the Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Dance (2019) and the Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet (forthcoming 2021). Her books include Princess Poutiatine and the Art of Ballet in Malta (2020), and an extensive anthology on contemporary ballet, co-edited with Dr Jill Nunes Jensen and published by Oxford University Press. From 2005-2016, Kathrina led modules on 20th and 21st Century ballet and dance histories at the Faculty of Education. She has curated, researched and written the webinar series: Pioneers of the RAD (2020), and Ballet in the 20th Century (2021).

Find out more information on her role at the RAD.

CPD Hours

1 hour Time-Valued CPD


Members of the Royal Academy of Dance receive discounts on all CPD activities.

How to book

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If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please contact the CPD Team, cpd@rad.org.uk

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Key Information

Time Fee
9.30-10.30am BST Member Fee: £16/€18
Non-Member Fee: £21/€23

Who can attend?

  • Dance teachers
  • Dance students
  • Dance graduates