Posted on November 4, 2014
English National Ballet is the first ballet company to become an “associate company” at Sadler’s Wells, it was announced at the London venue’s annual press conference. The theatre also announced Sylvie Guillem’s farewell performances, and confirmed details of its proposed new venue, to be built as part of a new cultural quarter in Stratford, London.
As an associate company, English National Ballet (ENB) will present two seasons at Sadler’s Wells each year, in spring and autumn. The first spring season, in March 2015, will be a triple bill of choreography by William Forsythe, John Neumeier and Jirí Kylián in March 2015, the return of the company’s Lest We Forget programme in September 2015 and a new production of Giselle choreographed by Akram Khan in autumn 2016. The company will continue to dance at the London Coliseum each Christmas for the next three years, but there is no confirmed news about its UK touring plans.
Tamara Rojo, director of English National Ballet, said at the press conference that it was a privilege to be associated with this venue, adding that she has made a big commitment to bringing new works to the repertoire. After the success of Khan’s Dust, created for the Lest We Forget programme, he will return to create a new Giselle, his first full-length narrative ballet. “I just wanted to have him back, and so did the dancers,” said Rojo.
Alistair Spalding, artistic director of Sadler’s Wells, said: “The new contemporary work that Tamara has been commissioning has added an exciting dimension to English National Ballet’s firmly-established reputation and repertoire, the result of a clear vision for ballet in the 21st century. I look forward to working with Tamara Rojo and the whole company in this exciting new partnership.”
Akram Khan said: “I am eager to start the creation of Giselle for English National Ballet. It is a beautiful and iconic piece, and I am looking forward to bringing my own take, together with my collaborators and the wonderful English National Ballet dancers.”
Picture: Tamara Rojo and Akram Khan in Dust. Photograph: Cookie