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  1. This opened yesterday evening, I was at the matinee today. I've seen it at every revival and I still find it a mesmerising, raw and powerful piece, perhaps even more than I did when I first saw it. Personally, I find it better not to spend too much time trying to work out the detail of what is happening; it wasn't entirely clear at the premiere and it still isn't. But for me the broad brush of the story line is there and is more than enough to be satisfying. The hypnotic beat of the music (brilliantly played by the ENB orchestra) drives the ballet forward and enhances the sense of raw and ferocious tribal energy in the opening choreography. I love the choreography: there is a frantic intensity for much of the corps in Act 1, but moments of stillness too. In Act 2 the Willis are terrifying, but the final pdd for Giselle and Albrecht is sublime, full of tenderness and forgiveness. I found this afternoon's principle performers simply superb: Giselle (Fernanda Oliveira), Albrecht (Aitor Arrieta), Erik Woolhouse making a stunning debut as Hilarion. The second circle was filled with many young teen school kids and it must be a huge tribute to the quality of the performance to note that even in the quiet moments you could have heard a pin drop (except for a mobile phone going off which I cannot say belonged to the kids) !
  2. English National Ballet Akram Khan’s Giselle Sadler’s Wells, London Wednesday 18 – Saturday 28th September 2019 www.ballet.org.uk/akram-khan-giselle/ Akram Khan’s Giselle returns to the UK for the first time since 2017, following acclaimed international performances in Moscow, Luxembourg and Chicago so far this year. Since its world premiere in 2016, Khan’s reimagined Giselle has been seen live by over 86,000 people through tours to eleven cities, in the UK and internationally. Giselle has also been broadcast in cinemas and on television, reaching an audience of over 160,000 through broadcasts internationally. Now the production is returning to Sadler’s Wells, London, for 13 performances from Wednesday 18th – Saturday 28th September. Akram Khan’s Giselle Principal Casting (in order Giselle, Albrecht and Hilarion) Wednesday 18 September Tamara Rojo, James Streeter and Jeffrey Cirio Thursday 19 September (mat) Fernanda Oliveira, Aitor Arrieta and Erik Woolhouse Thursday 19 September Erina Takahashi, Joseph Caley and Ken Saruhashi Friday 20 September Tamara Rojo, James Streeter and Jeffrey Cirio Saturday 21 September (mat) Fernanda Oliveira, Aitor Arrieta and Erik Woolhouse Saturday 21 September Erina Takahashi, Joseph Caley and Ken Saruhashi Monday 23 September Alina Cojocaru, Isaac Hernández and Jeffrey Cirio Tuesday 24 September Tamara Rojo, James Streeter and Ken Saruhashi Wednesday 25 September Crystal Costa, Aitor Arrieta and TBC Thursday 26 September Alina Cojocaru, Isaac Hernández and Jeffrey Cirio Friday 27 September Erina Takahashi, Joseph Caley and Ken Saruhashi Saturday 28 September (mat) Crystal Costa, Aitor Arrieta and TBC Saturday 28 September Alina Cojocaru, Isaac Hernández and Jeffrey Cirio -ENDS- English National Ballet is a National Portfolio Organisation supported by Arts Council England Notes to Editors About English National Ballet English National Ballet has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1950 as London Festival Ballet by the great English Dancers Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, it has played a major role in the growth and history of ballet in the UK. Today, English National Ballet is renowned for taking world-class ballet to the widest possible audience through its national and international tour programme, offsite performances at festivals including Glastonbury and Latitude, its distinguished orchestra English National Ballet Philharmonic, and being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement practice and delivery, building innovative partnerships to deliver flagship programmes such as English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s. Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet has gained new acclaim as it introduces innovative new works to the Company’s repertoire while continuing to honour and reinvigorate traditional ballet. www.ballet.org.uk About Arts Council England Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
  3. English National Ballet Song of the Earth & La Sylphide Romeo & Juliet / Akram Khan’s Giselle / Nutcracker National Tour Wednesday 11 October – Saturday 2 December 2017 Performance times and ticket prices vary www.ballet.org.uk Continuing its commitment to taking world-class ballet to audiences across the country, this autumn English National Ballet presents five productions on its national tour. Two works new to English National Ballet’s repertoire, Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s masterwork, Song of the Earth and August Bournonville’s La Sylphide recreated by Frank Andersen and Eva Kloborg, will be performed at the Manchester Palace Theatre (11-14 October) and Milton Keynes Theatre (17 – 21 October). First performed in 1965, MacMillan’s choreography for Song of the Earth was different from anything he had previously devised. Featuring three central figures, a Woman, a Man, and a Messenger, this powerful, moving exploration of life, death, and renewal is set to Mahler’s song cycle, Das Lied von der Erde, performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. These performances of Song of the Earth coincide with the 25th anniversary of MacMillan’s death. Devised by one of the world´s leading producers of Bournonville ballets, Frank Andersen and Eva Kloborg’s faithful version of the 1830s Romantic ballet La Sylphide sees James wake from a dream on the morning of his wedding to Effy to encounter a mysterious sylphide before him, setting off a fateful sequence of events. Song of the Earth and La Sylphide will also be performed at the London Coliseum in January 2018. Winner of the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance, Akram Khan’s Giselle comes to Liverpool for the first time, with performances at the Liverpool Empire Theatre (25-28 October). Hailed as “a masterpiece of 21st century dance” (Mail on Sunday), Khan’s Giselle is one of a community of migrant workers cast out of their jobs in a condemned garment factory. Last season over 40,000 people saw Akram Khan’s reimagined Giselle performed on tour. The world’s greatest love story, Rudolf Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet returns this autumn with performances at the Bristol Hippodrome (21-25 November). Featuring inventive and passionate choreography, and set to Prokofiev’s famous score, performed live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic, these performances mark the 40th anniversary of the production, which was originally created for English National Ballet in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. English National Ballet had its most successful Nutcracker run on record last season, when over 100,000 people came to see the production on tour or at the London Coliseum. This year sees Wayne Eagling’s Nutcracker tour to the Mayflower Theatre Southampton (29 November – 2 December) before returning to the London Coliseum, continuing the Company’s tradition of presenting a Nutcracker production each year since 1950. Listings information: Song of the Earth / La Sylphide Manchester Palace Theatre Wednesday 11 October - Saturday14 October 2017 Press night: Wednesday 11 October 2017 For more information, see: www.ballet.org.uk/song-sylphide Song of the Earth / La Sylphide Milton Keynes Theatre Tuesday 17 October - Saturday 21 October 2017 Press night: Tuesday 17 October 2017 For more information, see: www.ballet.org.uk/song-sylphide Akram Khan’s Giselle Liverpool Empire Theatre Wednesday 25 October - Saturday 28 October 2017 Press night: Wednesday 25 October 2017 For more information, see: http://giselle.ballet.org.uk Romeo & Juliet Bristol Hippodrome Tuesday 21 November - Saturday 25th November 2017 Press night: Tuesday 21 November For more information, see: www.ballet.org.uk/romeoandjuliet Nutcracker Mayflower Theatre, Southampton Wednesday 29 November - Saturday 2 December 2017 Press night: Wednesday 29 November 2017 For more information, see: www.ballet.org.uk/nutcracker Booking fees may apply. About English National Ballet English National Ballet has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1950 as London Festival Ballet by the great English Dancers Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, it has played a major role in the growth and history of ballet in the UK. Today, English National Ballet is renowned for taking world-class ballet to the widest possible audience through its national and international tour programme, offsite performances at festivals including Glastonbury and Latitude, its distinguished orchestra English National Ballet Philharmonic, and being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement practice and delivery, building innovative partnerships to deliver flagship programmes such as English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s. Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet has gained new acclaim as it introduces innovative new works to the Company’s repertoire while continuing to honour and reinvigorate traditional ballet.
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