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Bausch and van Manen for ENB

Posted on February 18, 2016


English National Ballet (ENB) has announced its plans for 2016–17, including Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring, Akram Khan’s new Giselle alongside the company’s traditional Mary Skeaping production and Adagio Hammerklavier by Hans van Manen.

Khan’s Giselle, announced in 2014, will have its world premiere at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on September 27, 2016, followed by a national tour. A revival of Skeaping’s production follows at the London Coliseum in January.

Tamara Rojo, director of ENB (pictured, left, with Akram Khan in rehearsal), said: “My vision for English National Ballet has been to introduce new works that push the boundaries of ballet, for both the company and audiences, while at the same time honouring and reinvigorating traditional works that have become so loved over the years. Ballet, and art, has the potential of interpretation and reinterpretation, and this is vital to drive our art form forward. And so I am thrilled that this season we will present the world premiere of Akram Khan’s reimagining of the iconic story of Giselle, as well as performing Mary Skeaping’s classical production.”

In March, 2017, the company becomes only the second ballet company to acquire Bausch’s celebrated staging of The Rite of Spring, created for Tanztheater Wuppertal and subsequently danced by the Paris Opéra Ballet. It will be performed at Sadler’s Wells alongside another new acquisition, Hans van Manen’s Adagio Hammerklavier, and a revival of William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.

Rojo said: “Pina Bausch was an incredible artist, and remains one of the most influential people in modern culture today. Her work transcends description; it affects you on a deep emotional level, speaking to your spirit and defying logical analysis. Pina’s Rite of Spring is of great significance, and it gives me so much joy that English National Ballet becomes only the second ballet company in the world, and the only UK company, to be entrusted to perform the work. I’m proud to present it alongside masterpieces from William Forsythe and Has van Manen, and I am truly honoured and humbled to be able to perform these works to audiences at Sadler’s Wells in 2017.”

Tickets for Akram Khan’s and Mary Skeaping’s productions of Giselle and the company’s tour of The Nutcracker go on sale on Monday, February 22 (Friday 19 for members). The triple bill goes on sale in November 2016. Visit for more information.


Picture, top: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in The Rite of Spring. Photograph: Ulli Weiss, copyright Pina Bausch Foundation

Picture, below: Tamara Rojo and Akram Khan in rehearsal for Giselle. Photograph: Laurent Liotardo



Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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