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New Royal Ballet season

Posted on March 14, 2012

img 5203 edited 1carlos acosta and marianelnunez

img_5203_edited-1carlos-acosta-and-marianelnunezThe Royal Ballet has announced its plans for the 2012/13 season, Kevin O’Hare’s first as director. It includes six world premieres, with new works by Alexei Ratmansky, Alastair Marriott, Christopher Wheeldon, Liam Scarlett and two by Wayne McGregor – including his first ever narrative work. There will also be company premieres of works by Wheeldon and Scarlett, and revivals of works by Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, John Cranko and Wheeldon, and of 19th-century classics.


O’Hare said that his priority was new work. He plans to strengthen links between The Royal Ballet and ROH2: Liam Scarlett’s first full-length ballet will be staged for the company in the Linbury Studio Theatre. This season, performances in the Linbury will also include Wayne McGregor | Random Dance in works by McGregor and emerging choreographers, plus revivals of Will Tuckett’s The Wind in the Willows and Arthur Pita’s The Metamorphosis, which stars The Royal Ballet’s Edward Watson. O’Hare is also planning a new classic production for the 2013/14 season. The company is currently in the black, hitting its box office targets, and plans to reduce prices for more adventurous mixed bills in the new season.


The season begins on October 8 with Anthony Dowell’s production of Swan Lake, which has 20 performances. Marianela Nuñez and Thiago Soares dance the opening night, while Akane Takada will make her debut as Odette–Odile  on October 17. The first triple bill, opening on November 3, presents the company premiere of Liam Scarlett’s Viscera, created for Miami City Ballet (reviewed in the February 2012 issue of Dancing Times), danced to Lowell Liebermann’s first piano concerto. It shares a bill with a revival of McGregor’s Infra and the company premiere of Fool’s Paradise, created for Morphoses in 2007.


An all-MacMillan triple bill marks the 20th anniversary of the choreographer’s death. Opening on November 17, it includes Concerto, Las Hermanas, which has never been performed at the Royal Opera House, and Requiem (pictured). Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker returns on December 8. For a Christmas alternative, from December 22 the company dance a tempting triple bill of Fokine’s The Firebird, Robbins’ In The Night and Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Raymonda Act III.


The company start 2013 with Cranko’s Onegin, opening on January 19. An all-Ashton mixed bill opens on February 12, with revivals of La Valse, the Thaïs and Voices of Spring pas de deux, Monotones I and II and Marguerite and Armand.


The first new works of the season, by Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky, have their world premieres on February 22, in a triple bill with Balanchine’s Apollo. This will be Ratmansky’s first work for a UK company. Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland returns on March 15, followed by a revival of Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadère on April 5. MacMillan’s Mayerling returns on April 19 for 13 performances.


Wayne McGregor’s new Raven Girl has its world premiere on May 24. This will be McGregor’s first story ballet, a modern fairytale based on a graphic novel by Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveller’s Wife. It is paired with a revival of Balanchine’s Symphony in C.


In May, Scarlett will stage his first full-length work in the Linbury Studio Theatre. The season ends, as ever, with summer performances by The Royal Ballet School in the Linbury (from July 3) and on the main stage (on July 14).


For more information, see


Picture: Marianela Nuñez and Carlos Acosta in MacMillan’s Requiem. Photograph: Frederika Davis, courtesy of The Royal Opera House

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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