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Royal Ballet 2018–2019 season

Posted on March 22, 2018

Lauren Cuthberston Romeo and Juliet creidt to ROH e1522147912878

The Royal Ballet will dance new works by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Alastair Marriott, Wayne McGregor and Liam Scarlett in the 2018 to 2019 season, and a new work by Aletta Collins as part of the first season of the reopened Linbury Theatre. The Royal Opera House has said that it will announce more works by female choreographers in the Linbury programme – though this does not address the ongoing absence of female creators on the main stage, where Crystal Pite’s acclaimed Flight Pattern will be the only ballet by a woman.

The company will also tour to Los Angeles, where it will perform the first part of a new full-length work by Wayne McGregor, with designs by Tacita Dean and a commissioned score by Thomas Adès. The work is part of a large-scale collaboration, spanning two years, in partnership with the LA Phil, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Centre, The Royal Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor. During this season, The Royal Ballet School will also perform a new one-act ballet by Liam Scarlett.

Marriott’s new work, The Unknown Soldier, marks the centenary of the end of World War I. Set to a commissioned score by Dario Marianelli, it has designs by Es Devlin and video design by Luke Halls. It will be performed in November 2018 as part of a triple bill with McGregor’s Infra and George Balanchine’s Symphony in C.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s first work for The Royal Ballet has its premiere in May 2019, alongside Flight Pattern and Christopher Wheeldon’s Within the Golden Hour.

The season opens on October 8, 2018 with a revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling, followed from November 1 by the return of Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadère. The Nutcracker is back for Christmas, alongside a festive triple bill of Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs, MacMillan’s Winter Dreams and Jerome Robbins’ The Concert.

In January 2019, the company dance Ashton’s romance The Two Pigeons, paired with either Scarlett’s Asphodel Meadows or, for three performances, works performed by students of The Royal Ballet School. Two divisive recent productions follow in spring 2018: Carlos Acosta’s Don Quixote in February, followed by Scarlett’s Frankenstein in March. MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet is back in March. The season ends with a Russian-flavoured triple bill of Mikhail Fokine’s The Firebird, Ashton’s A Month in the Country and Symphony in C. See for more information, and look out Jonathan Gray’s interview with The Royal Ballet’s artistic director, Kevin O’Hare, in our April issue.


Picture: Lauren Cuthbertson in Romeo and Juliet. Photograph 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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