News

English National Ballet Announce 2019-2020 Season

18 Mar 2019


© Laurent Liotardo

English National Ballet today announces plans for its 2019-2020 Season and updates on their new home at London City Island:2020 marks English National Ballet’s 70th Anniversary with celebrations taking place throughout the 2019-2020 Season that give opportunities for the Company to say, ‘Thank You’ to its audiences, fans, friends and partners. The 70th Anniversary will be celebrated with three special Gala performances at the London Coliseum featuring extracts from a diverse range of repertoire spanning English National Ballet’s history.

Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director said: “Our 70th Anniversary Gala performances are a rare opportunity to showcase in one place a huge variety of brilliant work from our extraordinarily rich history. This will be a Gala that celebrates the sheer love of dance, both on and off the stage, that has been part of our vision from the beginning. Throughout the three performances we will be bringing together as many people as possible from the English National Ballet family, on stage and in the audience, to celebrate and give thanks for the generosity of all who make this the very special Company it is. Alongside the Gala, we want to make sure we thank our audiences and partners throughout the season and will do so in a variety of creative ways.”

Celebrating and thanking its touring communities, English National Ballet will give away 70 tickets during each run in every city it tours to. Working with its partner venues, these tickets will be distributed to individuals who are making a positive impact in their community. To thank its audiences and fans, English National Ballet will also give a ‘Golden Ticket’ for a special English National Ballet experience to one audience member per performance throughout the season. Opportunities will include behind-the-scenes tours, complimentary tickets, and meet and greets. Further details and additional events to be announced throughout the season.

English National Ballet will mark its 70th Anniversary having moved into a new home at London City Island, Canning Town. This state-of-the-art building, designed especially for English National Ballet and English National Ballet School and featuring a theatre size production studio fitted with fly tower, allows for the 2019-2020 Season to be shaped with a renewed commitment to, and freedom for, creativity and ambition.

Renowned choreographer Akram Khan returns to create a second full-length production for English National Ballet following the success of Giselle. Taking inspiration from Mary Shelley’s literary classic, Frankenstein, Khan’s new ballet, titled Creature, is influenced by essential questions on ambition, human endeavour and morality. Creature is co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, London, where it will premiere in April 2020.

Akram Khan said:

“Since I was a child, I have been obsessed and fascinated with the story of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. The outcast, the monster, or the stranger has always been a common theme in my works. But in this new creation, I am looking further into the areas related to the sense of abandonment, rage and loss. Having made Giselle on English National Ballet in 2016, I am extremely excited to create a new full-length work with them.”

Tamara Rojo said: “Akram is an extraordinary artist, with an exceptional vision and inquisitive, inspiring mind. His masterful choreography is like no other and he has the skill to use his unique language to craft a narrative that asks some of the most challenging questions faced by the human race right now. I am looking forward to working with Akram and his team again and excited to see where this exploration takes him and the company in what will be our third project together.”

The 2019-2020 Season will also see the return of Khan’s first full-length collaboration with English National Ballet, Giselle, with performances at Sadler’s Wells in September, with English National Ballet Philharmonic. Co-produced with Manchester International Festival and Sadler’s Wells, the critically acclaimed re-imagining of the iconic ballet received its world premiere in 2016 and has since been seen live by over 80,000 people through tours to nine cities, both in the UK and internationally. Giselle has also been broadcast in cinemas and was recently released on DVD and Blu-ray.

For the first time, there will be an audio described performance of Giselle at Sadler’s Wells this autumn, making the ballet accessible to visually impaired people. Based on the original audio description created by Audio Described Aotearoa as part of the Auckland Arts Festival, a description of the action as it appears on stage will be given as well as an on-stage ‘touch tour’ ahead of the performance, in which participants are given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with costumes and props through touch.

Continuing its commitment to UK touring and presenting world-class ballet to the widest possible audience, Autumn 2019 sees English National Ballet present three acclaimed ballets, Cinderella, Le Corsaire, and Nutcracker, on tour.

Plans for English National Ballet’s Summer 2020 performances will be announced later this Spring.