Dedicated to dance
since 1910.

Buy Latest Issue

New Forsythe at English National Ballet

Posted on September 14, 2017

English National Ballet Dancers in Fantastic Beings by Aszure Barton c Laurent Liotardo 2 e1505918388789

English National Ballet (ENB) has announced its plans for spring and summer 2018, including a world premiere by William Forsythe, the company premiere of Jerome Robbins’ The Cage and the return of Kenneth MacMillan’s production of The Sleeping Beauty.

Forsythe, who has recently returned to creating works for large ballet companies, is one of the world’s most influential choreographers; securing a new work from him is a coup for English National Ballet.

The new ballet will be presented as part of the mixed bill Voices of America, due to be performed at London’s Sadler’s Wells from April 12 to 21, 2018. It will be performed alongside the choreographer’s Approximate Sonata 2016, originally created in 1996 and reworked last year for the Paris Opéra Ballet.

As well as the two Forsythe works, this programme will include a reworking of Aszure Barton’s Fantastic Beings (pictured), created for ENB’s She Said programme in 2016, and Jerome Robbin’s The Cage. First performed in 1951, Robbins’ ballet presents the rituals of an insect-like society where female dancers prey on men. Tickets for Voices of America go on sale to Friends of ENB on October 30, and on general sale from November 6.

Tamara Rojo, artistic director of ENB, said: “For a while now I have wanted to dedicate a programme to the abstract, neoclassical style of ballet that is born out of America. It gives me great pleasure to now be doing so with a new work created especially for us by the genius that is William Forsythe, alongside his Approximate Sonata 2016.

“I am excited that these Forsythe works will be accompanied by Jerome Robbins’ brilliantly shocking ballet The Cage, and a revival of Aszure Barton’s fabulous Fantastic Beings. I cannot wait for audiences to experience the power and emotion of these ballets next spring.”

Summer 2018 will also see the return of The Sleeping Beauty, in a production by Kenneth MacMillan with sets by Peter Farmer and ravishing costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis. This revival follows ENB’s performances of MacMillan’s Song of the Earth this autumn, as part of the choreographer’s anniversary celebrations. The Sleeping Beauty will be performed at the London Coliseum from June 6 to 16, 2018. The company will also hold its Emerging Dancer competition at the Coliseum, on June 11.

From March 29 to May 20, ENB will tour a new version of My First Ballet: Swan Lake, part of a series created to make ballet accessible to children as young as three. Tickets for The Sleeping Beauty and My First Ballet: Swan Lake are on sale from 18 September.


Photograph: Dancers of English National Ballet in Aszure Barton’s Fantastic Beings. Photograph: Laurent Leotard

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.

Connect with Dancing Times: