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English National Ballet new season

Posted on June 11, 2013


enbcorsaireEnglish National Ballet (ENB) has announced plans for the 2013–14 season, including new works by Akram Khan, Liam Scarlett and Russell Maliphant, the company’s first performances at London’s Barbican Theatre and a guest appearance by Carlos Acosta.


Tamara Rojo’s second full season as artistic director opens with a new production of Le Corsaire, staged by Anna-Marie Holmes, followed by the traditional Nutcracker season on tour and at the London Coliseum.


From April 2 to 12, 2014 the company makes its Barbican debut with Lest We Forget, a programme of new works marking the centenary of the start of World War I. Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett – all choreographers new to ENB – will create new works for the programme, which also includes a revival of George Williamson’s Firebird.


Rojo said: “Lest We Forget marks my first commission for English National Ballet and I am thrilled that these three great artists have agreed to create works for the company. I wanted an evening of British work and the Great War still has such resonance in British culture and society that the occasion of the centenary was an obvious inspiration.


“I am particularly excited to be bringing the works to the Barbican, which will offer a natural home for this programme. English National Ballet has a rich tradition of touring and going to the Barbican fits with the company’s ethos of presenting ballet to new and established audiences nationwide. The Barbican programmes contemporary dance and has an excellent reputation for working with major UK and international theatre and dance companies.”


Akram Khan said: “I have been waiting for the right moment to work with a ballet company on which to explore, investigate and discover new directions with my choreography.” Khan will bring his established team to work on the new ballet: costume designer Kimie Nakamo, lighting designer Fabiana Piccioli, composer Jocelyn Pook, dramaturge Ruth Little and rehearsal director Jose Agudo. He also praised Rojo, “an incredibly talented and passionate artist leading an equally impressive company”.


Scarlett also praised Rojo, for whom he created roles at The Royal Ballet. Russell Maliphant said that he would be using a “contemporary personal version of classical language” in his new work.


From June 11 to 22, the company returns to the Royal Albert Hall to dance Derek Deane’s in-the-round staging of Romeo and Juliet, with a company of 120 dancers and actors. Rojo, who created the role of Juliet in Deane’s version, will be partnered by guest artist Carlos Acosta.


From July 23 to 27, the company will dance Ronald Hynd’s production of Coppélia at the London Coliseum. This season, the company will make Coppélia the latest in its My First Ballet series of ballets adapted for young audiences. ENB2 will tour My First Ballet: Coppélia in May. The season will also include the company’s Emerging Dancer Award, now in its fifth year, and Choreographics, a platform for up-and-coming choreographers. This year, Choreographics will be open to choreographers from outside the company.


Booking for the season opens on June 19, with priority booking for Friends of the company from June 12. Booking for Romeo and Juliet opens on June 12.


Picture: Le Corsaire

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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