English National Ballet winter update

11 Nov 2020

Image: © Laurent Liotardo

Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum – Updated Performance Schedule

English National Ballet is preparing to return to the stage this winter. Whilst planned performances of Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet are unable to go ahead due to the November lockdown in England, the Company is looking forward to performing Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum, now opening 17 December 2020 and running until 3 January 2021.

Nutcracker Delights is a special 75-minute version of the Christmas classic that 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.

New company members announced

Natascha Mair joins as a Principal. Mair previously performed with Vienna State Opera Ballet (Wiener Staatsballett) where she rose through the ranks to Principal. She has danced with many companies around the world as a Guest Artist, including Slovenian National Ballet where she is a Guest Principal Dancer.

Natascha has received numerous awards including First Prize at Premio Roma Danza (2012), Special Prize at the International Contest of Ballet Schools in Bejing (2012) and the Sponsorship Award of the Ballett Club Wiener Staatsoper & Volksoper (2014).

On joining the Company, Natascha Mair said: “I am excited for my new journey with English National Ballet and moving to this incredible city which has so many different people and cultures for me to learn from. I never want to stop growing as a person and artist and I feel like English National Ballet is the perfect place for me to do so.”

Matei Hadrian Holeleu joins as a 1st Year Artist of the Company following his success at the 2020 Prix de Lausanne competition. Holeleu trained at Ballettschule Theater Basel, Switzerland and Octavian Stroia Highschool of Choreography and Drama, Romania.

Eric Snyder joins as an Artist (Extra) from English National Ballet School. He has previously performed with English National Ballet in their 70th Anniversary Gala, Nutcracker, Cinderella and My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty.

English National Ballet’s Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo CBE said: ”I’m so pleased to be able to welcome Natascha, Matei and Eric to the Company as we prepare to return to live performances soon, and I can’t wait to see them develop their artistry with ENB.”

Principal casting for Nutcracker Delights announced

Performing in the iconic roles of Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy are Lead Principals Erina Takahashi and Fernanda Oliveira; Principals Shiori Kase and Natascha Mair; and First Soloists Emma Hawes and Katja Khaniukova. Lead Principals Joseph Caley, Jeffrey Cirio, Isaac Hernández and Francesco Gabriele Frola will perform the role of Prince, whilst First Soloist Junor Souza will dance both Prince and Nutcracker. First Soloist Aitor Arrieta, Soloist Skyler Martin and Artist of the Company Fernando Carratalá Coloma dance the role of Nutcracker. Nightly casting for Nutcracker Delights will be announced soon.

English National Ballet welcomes new members to its Board of Trustees

Marilyn Berk, Lady Debbie Buffini, Kamara Gray, Chris Marks, Paul Pacifico and Dr. Shirley J. Thompson OBE.

Lead Principal Alina Cojocaru will be leaving the company

Cojocaru joined English National Ballet in 2013 as a Lead Principal Dancer. During her time with the Company Cojocaru has delighted audiences and critics alike, throughout the UK and internationally, with her performances in both classical and contemporary repertoire.

Acclaimed for both her technical ability and her dramatic interpretation, Cojocaru has received much admiration for her performances with the Company in classical roles including Juliet in both Rudolf Nureyev’s and Derek Deane’s versions of Romeo & Juliet; the title roles in GiselleManon and Cinderella; Medora in Le Corsaire, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Clara in Nutcracker and Odette/ Odile in Swan Lake.

Cojocaru has also garnered high praise for her artistry and on-stage presence in performances in contemporary works whilst with the Company: Approximate Sonata 2016In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Spring and Fall, No Man’s Land, Second Breath and Akram Khan’s Giselle in which she performed the title role in the 2016 world premiere.

Whilst dancing with English National Ballet, Cojocaru has twice been awarded the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical), in 2017 for her portrayal of the title role in Akram Khan’s Giselle and in 2018 for her performance as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, and Danza & Danza Dancer of the Year 2019.

Whilst Cojocaru’s last on-stage performance with the Company was in January 2020 as Clara in Nutcracker at the London Coliseum, her performances continued to enchant audiences around the world through English National Ballet’s recent series of Wednesday Watch Parties in which she appeared in ManonCinderella and Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet.

English National Ballet’s Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo CBE said: “It has been an absolute privilege to have an artist of Alina’s calibre as part of the English National Ballet family. I am so thankful for her immense contribution to the company over the past 7 years, and I hope to welcome her back as a guest in the future.”