After 21 years with The Royal Ballet, Leanne Benjamin will retire in July 2013, at the end of the current season. Her last performance will be on July 10, in A Gala Evening with The Royal Ballet at the Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo as part of the company’s summer tour. Her final UK performance will be in Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling, at the Royal Opera House on June 15. She will dance Mary Vetsera – the role in which she made her debut with the company.
Sergei Polunin, whose shock resignation from The Royal Ballet made headlines last year, has pulled out of the Peter Schaufuss Ballet’s production of Midnight Express, which opens at the London Coliseum tonight. Igor Zelensky, former star of the Maryinsky Ballet and now director of Moscow’s Stanislavsky Ballet, where Polunin is now based, has also withdrawn from the production and returned to Russa.
The BalletBoyz seek women as well as men for their new project, The Dancer’s Course. Starting in September 2013, this innovative one-year weekend course is aimed at men and women over the age of 18 who want to develop their versatility, contemporary dance skills and technique within the environment of a professional, cutting edge dance company.
The Female Choreographers’ Collective (FCC) will hold the first of a two-part forum at Laban Theatre on April 23. The Experiment asks the audience to watch six works, three by male and three by female choreographers – without knowing who made what.
English National Ballet will be the first UK company to present a full-length production of Le Corsaire, opening on tour in October 2013. The production, by Anna-Marie Holmes, was originally created for Boston Ballet in 1997, and will be revised for English National Ballet.
Emma Gladstone (pictured) will succeed Betsy Gregory as the artistic director of Dance Umbrella. She will take up the post in November 2013, following this year’s Dance Umbrella festival, the last to be directed by Gregory.