English National Ballet returns to the stage

14 Oct 2020

Erina Takahashi and Francesco Gabriele Frola in Nutcracker © Laurent Liotardo

English National Ballet returns to the stage with performances of Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum this Christmas and, as previously announced, Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet at Sadler’s Wells in November.

During the festive period, English National Ballet will present Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum (03 December 2020 – 03 January 2021). This special version of the Christmas classic sees the Company perform a selection of the ballet’s most popular moments and iconic scenes accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s famous score played live by musicians from English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director said: “English National Ballet has performed a version of The Nutcracker every year since we were founded in 1950 and I’m so pleased that, despite the challenges faced, we have been able to find a way for the tradition to live on, in this, our 70th Anniversary year. It’s more important than ever that we are able to bring audiences some festive joy this Christmas.”

Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet sees the Company present five world premieres at Sadler’s Wells, London, from 19-21 November 2020. Originally commissioned as creations for camera as part of English National Ballet’s upcoming digital season and now also adapted for the stage, the new works have been choreographed by some of the most exciting dance makers working today: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Yuri Possokhov, Arielle Smith, and Stina Quagebeur.

Tamara Rojo continued: “After what will be nearly 9 months without performing in theatres, I am thrilled that English National Ballet is going to be back on stage with a live audience this winter. It’s been wonderful to see our studios back in action for the creation of these five exciting new works and we can’t wait to share them with our audiences.”

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Laid in Earth is a “torn apart” quartet. It is set to Purcell’s famous aria from Dido and Aeneas – sung live by mezzo soprano Flora McIntosh, as well as new electronic music by Olga Wojciechowska.

Russell Maliphant creates ever shifting choreography and uses light as an integral partner in the creative process. He collaborates on this project with video artist Panagiotis Tomaras and with commissioned sound design by Dana Fouras.

A former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, world-renowned choreographer Yuri Possokhov works with a UK company for the first time. His piece for four dancers, Senseless Kindness, is based on Vasily Grossman’s great novel, Life and Fate, about a Russian family caught in the Second World War and is set to Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No1.

In Take Five Blues, ENB’s Associate Choreographer, Stina Quagebeur, responds to two of her favourite pieces of music, Bach’s Vivace and Paul Desmond’s jazz standard, Take Five.

Arielle Smith’s Jolly Folly is fast-paced, surprising, and energetic and is driven by the Klazz Brothers’ latin-infused covers of Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Mozart.

The music for Laid in EarthTake Five Blues and Senseless Kindness is performed live by musicians of English National Ballet Philharmonic.

English National Ballet’s previously scheduled performances for Autumn/Winter 2020-2021 have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutcracker Delights replaces cancelled performances of Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. The world premieres of Creature by Akram Khan and Raymonda by Tamara Rojo after Marius Petipa have been postponed to 2021. Those who had purchased tickets for these performances are being contacted directly by the relevant box office.

All rehearsals and performances are in strict compliance with the UK Government COVID-19 guidance.