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Royal Ballet 2015-16 plans

Posted on April 15, 2015

rbdonqcarlos acosta johan persson

rbdonqcarlos-acosta-johan-perssonThe Royal Ballet’s new season, announced today by Kevin O’Hare, will include Frankenstein by Liam Scarlett and new works by Carlos Acosta, Will Tuckett, Christopher Wheeldon and Wayne McGregor.

Carlos Acosta’s Carmen, which has its premiere on October 26, will be a stylised, one-act staging, using Rodion Shchedrin’s version of Georges Bizet’s music, newly arranged by Martin Yates. The designs will be by Tim Hatley. The new Carmen shares a programme with Liam Scarlett’s Viscera, Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun and George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky pas de deux.

Staged in the Linbury Studio Theatre, Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth is a full-length narrative about the life of Elizabeth I, starring Zenaida Yanowsky, Acosta and actress Lindsay Duncan, with a new score by Martin Yates.

Christopher Wheeldon will create a new work to music by Mark-Anthony Turnage. It will have its first performance on February 12, as part of an all-Wheeldon programme with the company premieres of After the Rain and Within the Golden Hour.

Liam Scarlett’s new Frankenstein, inspired by Mary Shelley’s novel, opens on May 4. The commissioned score is by Lowell Liebermann, with designs by John Macfarlane and lighting by David Finn.

Wayne McGregor, the company’s resident choreographer, will create a new work to Esa-Pekka Salonen’s score Nyx. The new ballet forms part of a triple bill alongside Within the Golden Hour and Kenneth MacMillan’s The Invitation. This is the last programme of the season, with performances from May 28 until June 11.

The season opens on September 19 with Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, followed by an October run of Alastair Marriott’s Connectome in a double bill with Wayne McGregor’s Raven Girl. Frederick Ashton’s The Two Pigeons, given its first Royal Ballet revival in 30 years, is paired with his Monotones I and II in November, and with Rhapsody in January. Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker is back for Christmas, with a revival of Giselle following in March. Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale returns in April 2016.

Charlotte Edmonds will be the first choreographer to take part in the new Royal Ballet Young Choreographer Programme, mentored by Kevin O’Hare and Wayne McGregor. This is a 12-month position for an emerging choreographer, who will use the company’s resources to create work, with opportunities to shadow other choreographers. Edmonds, interviewed in our February 2014 issue, choreographed The Indifferent Beak for Deloitte Ignite 2014 and has worked with Yorke Dance Project and Robert Cohan. Currently studying for a BA at the Rambert School of Ballet and contemporary dance, she is the only female choreographer announced for The Royal Ballet this season.

The Linbury Studio Theatre season opens on September 23 with Canadian company Cas Public’s Symphonie Dramatique, a modern dance drama inspired by Romeo and Juliet, programmed to coincide with The Royal Ballet’s main stage production by Kenneth MacMillan.

Ballerina Alessandra Ferri, who returns to The Royal Ballet to dance McGregor’s Woolf Works this spring, will dance Chéri in the Linbury. Directed and choreographed by Martha Clarke, it is based on Colette’s novella about the relationship between a young man and an older courtesan. The production also stars American Ballet Theatre principal Herman Cornejo.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet makes its Linbury debut from November 15 to 21, dancing Javier de Frutos’ The Anatomy of a Passing Cloud, Neil Ieremia’s Passchendaele, Selon Desir by Andonis Foniadakis and a new work by Andrew Simmons.

The Linbury season will also include Phoenix Dance Theatre, dancing Itzik Galili’s Until.With/Out.Enough, Sharon Watson’s TearFall and Caroline Finn’s Bloom.

The Royal Opera House live cinema season has also been announced. Romeo and Juliet will be screened in cinemas on September 22. The Viscera/Afternoon of a Faun/Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux/Carmen programme will be screened on November 12, with The Nutcracker in cinemas on December 16. The double bill of Rhapsody and The Two Pigeons will be screened on January 26, 2016, followed by Giselle on April 6 and Frankenstein on May 18.


Picture: Carlos Acosta in rehearsal for Don Quixote. Photograph: Johan Persson



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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