With the 2015 Variations triple bill underway, First Soloist, Jonathan Payn talks about his new role in the restaging process for Enigma Variations.
It was after the first night reception of the Prince of the Pagodas in London. Sir Peter Wright came up to me and introduced me to Tony Dyson who owns the rights to Enigma Variations. He told me about the scheme that the Ashton Foundation has started, where dancers shadow the restaging of some of the Ashton ballets, with the view to restaging the ballets themselves. Currently Desmond Kelly (former Assistant Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet) is overseeing the production. There might come a time when he doesn’t want to or isn’t able to, so they’re looking to the next generation to take over.
When it started it was all very hypothetical. We didn’t know at the time if Enigma was coming back. It was a case of, ‘if Enigma Variations was to come back, would you like to? Of course I said, ‘please!’