Choreographer: Antony Tudor
Music: Ernest Chausson
Lighting: George Bardyguine
World Premiere: Ballet Rambert, Mercury Theatre (London), January 26, 1936
PBT Performance Date: January 1987, (upcoming) March 2013
Program Notes (January 1987)
Jardin aux Lilas is steeped in the conventions of the beginning of the twentieth century, when young girls of good families were trained in the good manners of young ladies of refinement, with the right social graces, and an understanding that a girl remains a virgin until she is married.
The setting is a pre-wedding party in a moonlit garden, hedged by lilacs. Caroline, the hostess, is about to be wed to a man she does not love. Another man, a friend of Caroline's since childhood, makes his appearance unexpectedly. In their youth they had always assumed that they would be married to each other.
Unfortunately, the fortunes of Caroline's parents have been diminished. No longer having the wealth that was formerly theirs, they have arranged for a betrothal for Caroline with a man of considerable means. He has great ambition, is very successful, and is accustomed to knowing what he wants and always getting it. His marriage to Caroline will open doors to many of the old families of England who wield enormous influence.
The fourth of the group of principals is the fashionable, about-town woman with whom he has conducted a love relationship of long standing. She also appears unexpectedly upon the scene.
Private feelings are submerged in public decorum, although throughout the course of the evening, brief and tempestuous moment sof true emotion break through the artificial surface of custom, as members of the luckless quartet weave a web of risk, frustration, and vain regret in the over-scented garden.
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