This month, English National Ballet and The Royal Ballet both move away from Christmas fare. The Royal Ballet launch into Giselle and Swan Lake this month, while ENB dance Romeo and Juliet at the London Coliseum. Later this year, ENB will dance a Roland Petit programme, giving UK audiences a rare chance to see his Carmen, Le Jeune homme et la mort and L’Arlésienne.
In February, American Ballet Theatre come to Sadler’s Wells, with the UK premieres of works by Alexei Ratmansky and Benjamin Millepied, plus George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Antony Tudor’s Jardin aux Lilas and Paul Taylor’s Company B.
There are two major adaptations of Alice in Wonderland in the pipeline. The Royal Ballet unveils Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on February 28, with music by Joby Talbot, Lauren Cuthbertson as Alice and a supporting cast that will include actor Simon Russell Beale as the Duchess. Scottish Ballet’s Alice opens at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on April 12, with choreography by Ashley Page, designs by Antony McDonald and a new score by Robert Moran.
The Maryinsky visit London for a three-week summer season, with a varied repertory including Ratmansky’s Anna Karenina, works by Balanchine and Jerome Robbins and a Fokine evening. Other ballet visitors include the National Ballet of China, who will come to the Edinburgh Festival with Peony Pavilion.
In contemporary dance, one of the year’s biggest events will be the first dance work from pop stars the Pet Shop Boys. Their first score for dance, The Most Incredible Thing will be a large-scale production at Sadler’s Wells, based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale. It will star Ivan Putrov in choreography by Javier De Frutos.
William Forsythe brings his company to Sadler’s Wells in February, with the very personal work I don’t believe in outer space. The theatre also presents The Centaur and the Animal, with real horses on stage, directed by the celebrated equestrian artist Bartabas.
Rambert Dance Company’s repertory for 2011 will include Paul Taylor’s Roses and a new work by Tim Rushton – whose Danish Dance Theatre will also tour the UK this year.
Looking forward to autumn, Dance Umbrella will include the last autumn performances by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, making its farewell tour.
In the depths of winter, we can look forward to some fiery flamenco at Sadler’s Wells, which holds its annual festival in February. This year’s stars include Eva Yerbabuena and the wonderful Rocío Molina.
Picture: Swan Lake, with Diana Vishneva and Igor Kolb of the Maryinsky Ballet. Photograph by N Razina