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Friday Night is Music Night, Radio 2 tonight

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Tonight's FNMN is a ballet-focused one:


"Today, 20:00 on BBC Radio 2




Friday Night is Music Night - A Life in Tights.

Dancer, director and choreographer - Wayne Sleep - presents an evening of glorious ballet music which has formed the backdrop to his career over the last 50 years.

In 1955 an 8 year old Wayne Sleep attended his first dance lesson. His first teacher was "Miss Carr" and she held a weekly ballet class over the local bicycle repair shop in Wayne's home town of Hartlepool.

The dance space was far from glamorous - flaky paint peeling off the dark, damp, crumbling walls but it set Wayne on the road to win the Leverhulme Scholarship to the Royal Ballet School and as a member of the Royal Ballet Company he went on to create many great character roles. His time with the company was under the artistic direction of our greatest choreographers - Sir Frederick Ashton and Sir Kenneth MacMillan.

The choreography, scenery and costumes may change but the music stays the same. The programme includes Tchaikovsky's scores to "Swan Lake", "The Sleeping Beauty" and "The Nutcracker"; "Manon" by Jules Massenet; Coppelia by Leo Delibes and Igor Stravinsky's magical finale to "The Firebird".

Many of the great ballet scores have been used for other forms - Khachaturian's Adagio from "Spartacus"is recognisable as the signature tune for the tv drama "The Onedin Line"; the Clog Dance from" La Fille Mal Gardee" was used as the theme to the BBC Home Service's "At Home This Afternoon" and Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights from his ballet "Romeo and Juliet" - written to describe the feuding families of the Montagues and Capulets is now used to introduce the feuding teams of Sir Alan Sugar's boardroom in BBC Tv's "The Apprentice".

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of one of the great ballet partnerships - Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. Their first performance together took place at the Royal Opera House in 1962 in "Giselle". Adolphe Adam's music from that great ballet is included tonight and Wayne Sleep recalls some of his favourite ballet roles including Alain in "La Fille Mal Gardee"; Ugly Sister in "Cinderella" and "Squirrel Nutkin" in "TheTales of Beatrix Potter". The concert was recorded at LSO St Lukes in London and the BBC Concert Orchestra is conducted by Martin Yates.

.In tonight's interval, Joe Haddow goes backstage of the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden to explore just what it takes to put on such magnificent productions. We'll hear from Principal dancer Steven McRae about his work with The Royal Ballet, screenwriter Lee Hall explains his inspirations for writing Billy Elliot and choreographer, dancer and West End star, Adam Cooper, tells Joe about growing up as a young boy who liked dance, and how Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake" changed his life."


(I've simply lifted the above off this page: http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b01hjk9t)

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This sounds like it's going to be perfect listening o get me through the tedious task I have to do at work next week - now I'm almost looking forward to monday! Thanks for posting, Alison.

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