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I find it quite baffling, the programming of the ENB, for the spring. This happenend last year as well. The last mainstream offering seems to be in mid Jan (Corsaire at the Coliseum). When everyone else is dancing their socks off this season, the ENB are only offering 4 days of 'She Said' and some performances of 'My First....', in the UK. Then the Deane Swan Lake in the Round in June, and that's your lot 'til the Autumn. It's becoming that I no longer need to check their website for what's on. And I love the ENB!!!

 

Can anyone explain of I'm missing something here?

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They seem to be doing quite a lot of My First, and in many places across the country, it might not be of much interest for the people who post around here, but I'm guessing it brings in more than much of anything else they could be doing.

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It seems to me that they are concentrating on foreign tours in the Spring.

 

Only a few days in Oman and a week in Paris this year. I feel 'deprived' too but, when one thinks about it, putting on three new ballets in one programme (She Said) must occupy a great deal of creative and rehearsal time.

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They seem to be doing quite a lot of My First, and in many places across the country, it might not be of much interest for the people who post around here, but I'm guessing it brings in more than much of anything else they could be doing.

I'm not sure anyone in ENB is technically involved in that, though? I thought it was effectively the students?

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Yes, I feel rather deprived too. I'm looking forward to the triple bill next month. Bear in mind that ENB's six week residency at the Coliseum only ended on 24 January and was immediately followed by the mid-season break. I'm a bit disappointed that there's no Choreographics this year; I really enjoyed it last year.

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They've just finished touring in Oman and I think,there is now more emphasis given to foreign tours.

 

I wish they had a slightly longer Spring season in UK

 

By the way Capybara I've always thought your username unusual and then today someone posted me a picture on Facebook of some baby Capybaras with their mum. Have never seen this animal before! You learn something every day!

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In reply to the original post by cavycapers, isn't this part of the ENB strategy since 2014 to increase their touring abroad, as discussed in an older forum topic where the company first announced its plans to go abroad in summer 2015 ? Same strategy this year ?

 

I am in NW England so don't really take detailed note of the frequency of their dancing in London or elsewhere in UK. Up here in the NW 'provinces', there doesn't seem to be much difference in the amount of time ENB is spending here, this year and next, compared to previous years. I have recently tried to make a list of ENB's NW performances over the past 10-15 years and it seems there's usually a couple of weeks/productions in Liverpool/Manchester-combined in Autumn, and rarely something in Spring. And this is indeed the case for next year again.

 

I haven't done the research and maths explicitly,  but the older forum topic and cavycapers' question seem indeed to suggest that ENB's increased foreign touring comes at the expense of UK performances outside the NW. Since I'd rarely go to London or elsewhere in the UK to see ballet, this personally doesn't affect me too much, but indeed I sympathise with those who wish to see more of ENB in the UK.

Edited by northstar
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We used to get ENB twice a year in both Liverpool and Manchester.  First Liverpool was dropped in the Spring and then Manchester.

 

When the Lowry opened in 2000 we also lost BRB and Rambert to Salford (and so did Manchester).  However, it has to be said that I love going to The Lowry!

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As an outsider, my thoughts on ENB generally, are that the company is increasing becoming what is know as a 'misnomer' (I hope my understanding is correct)

 

The dancers are not very English, the company seems to have a very 'latin' flair since the amazing Ms Rojo's directorship. The company doesn't tour in England anymore it seems. So as a wonderful ground breaking and especially for the females of dance a great place to work.

 

I don't know how much funding from the government they receive, but I would say that as a ballet company its an amazing, inventive and energetic company, but it is certainly not the English National Ballet. 

 

Again, as a disclaimer, from an outsider, and which is my general impression, not from an expert insight into the inner workings.

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The company tours the UK in the Autumn; it is the Spring Tour that has been largely lost to foreign touring.  The Company also does a long season in London over Christmas and the New Year as well as instigating a week in the Spring at Sadler's Wells and the "in the round" season at RAH.

 

They are a great company to watch, I wish I could see more of them but I can't fit everything in.  I don't care what they are called!

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The ENB do tour extensively in the Autumn, I saw them three times in Bristol, and then they do a long Nutcracker every year over Christmas, and as I said, a few Corsaires at the the Coli in January, but then, for UK adult fans, they go very quiet, when everyone else seems to be offering exciting programmes in the spring. It seems odd, as the English National Ballet, to be performing abroad in the major seasons.

 

Sorry janet, i think we were posting at same time, and said the same thing. I don't care what they're called, but I do wonder how rhey're funded.

Edited by cavycapers
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We used to get ENB twice a year in both Liverpool and Manchester.  First Liverpool was dropped in the Spring and then Manchester.

 

When the Lowry opened in 2000 we also lost BRB and Rambert to Salford (and so did Manchester).  However, it has to be said that I love going to The Lowry!

 

Thank you Janet for that info from direct experience, my statements were based on what I could find from the internet. As I said, I hadn't done the research carefully enough it seems. I stand corrected.

 

When you say Liverpool then Manchester were dropped in Spring, when did this happen ? - since Rojo took over, or earlier ? (Rather shamefully I've only really taken interest in ENB and its NW touring since Rojo took over, my relationship with BRB at the Lowry Salford goes back much further - I too love that theatre)

 

Interesting comments from SwissBalletFan and I think some valid points but I'll just remark that the new (January this year) female principal is Lauretta Summerscales who is as English as they come. I too have a 'non expert' sense that the company has a strong latin component to it, but dancers like Fernanda Oliveria, Yonah Acosta, Junor Souza were there before Rojo became artistic director. I'd agree with Janet that I don't really care what the company is called. American Ballet Theatre might be considered to be similarly mis-named, perhaps.

Edited by northstar
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Interesting comments from SwissBalletFan and I think some valid points but I'll just remark that the new (January this year) female principal is Lauretta Summerscales who is as English as they come. I too have a 'non expert' sense that the company has a strong latin component to it, but dancers like Fernanda Oliveria, Yonah Acosta, Junor Souza were there before Rojo became artistic director. I'd agree with Janet that I don't really care what the company is called. American Ballet Theatre might be considered to be similarly mis-named, perhaps.

 

 

Janet / Capybara, I am not also worried about the name, but interested in the funding and how the RB (everyone wants homegrown talent to be promoted vs hiring outside principals) vs ENB which is an amazing company, but these British standards do not seem to come up for them. As I say, I am no expert at all, just my 2 penneth.

 

Thank you for the history of which I was not aware northstar. I think its great about Lauretta becoming Principal, however on fear of going on a tangent, is ENB the only company that has a Principal, who is still second rank in the company to Lead Principal?

 

It reminds me awfully of the 2 examples that make me laugh about how something that is the same (best dancer) is given an improved name, just to make a point. These examples being the 5 star General when the US knew that the highest general in the UK had 4 stars, and so thought that as it was the US they should have one star higher. My personal favourite being Spinal Tap and that it goes up to 11, so it is louder than all other speakers that go to 10.

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Liverpool lost Spring a long time ago - at least 10 years I would think - Manchester maybe 5 or 6 years ago.

 

Well then I am even more ashamed that I did not take the more plentiful past opportunities to see them dance in the NW, as I've been living here for getting on for 20 years. I have really got excited about ENB since Rojo took over and brought Cojocaru with her, but ENB was my first ballet in the 1990s (Derek Deane Nutcracker) which blew me away and I now wish I'd seen more of their productions. I did see ENB Rite of Spring in Manchester in the early 2000s, but somehow I ended up having a closer relationship with BRB, until Rojo took the ENB helm.

 

So it would seem that the reduced Liverpool/Manchester appearances that you outline Janet are not linked to the recently increased foreign touring that started in 2015. I wonder what made ENB reduce it's NW England touring in the last decade ? I can imagine the global financial crisis of ~2008 didn't help its funding from government.

 

SwissBalletFan I also am not keen on the Lead Principal rank. Not that I'm an expert but I don't know of any other companies that have it. But yes, that's probably going off-topic, that might have been discussed on the forum before, not done exhaustive search but here is one topic that touches on it.

Edited by northstar
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Interesting comments from SwissBalletFan and I think some valid points but I'll just remark that the new (January this year) female principal is Lauretta Summerscales who is as English as they come.

 

As, despite her name, is Begona Cao.

 

As for the reduced Spring touring, I think that's been going on for quite a few years now.  It used to be that many of their venues had two visits a year, but this now seems to have been reduced to one - and since they tour at a loss, I doubt that things are likely to improve in that respect, given the current economic climate :(

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Following this discussion I went back to my research into ENB performances in Liverpool/Manchester, as I can get bit obsessive about things like this.

 

If anyone is interested ....

 

The last Spring performance of ENB in Liverpool/Manchester that I can find record of was Peter Schaufuss' Diana (Princess of Wales) which I think was a 'test' which went no further.

 

Before that there was a Spring Swan Lake in Liverpool AND Manchester in 2004, and in Autumn 2003 Cinderella (Manchester Palace), and Nutcracker (Liverpool Empire, Scarfe/Hampson)

 

So I can't find a Spring ENB performance in Liverpool or Manchester in the last 10 years.

 

I've tracked down an interesting article in the Times (February 5, 2004, Jack Malvern) which details the financial difficulties the company faced when the Coliseum was closed for refurbishment at that time. Their cash cow of the Nutcracker was performed at the Hammersmith Apollo and resulted in significantly lower income. Is it a coincidence that they (perhaps) stopped Springtime performances in the North after this time ?

Edited by northstar
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An interesting discussion. In relation to ENB's name, I think it does have significance given that it was a new name chosen as being more appropriate than the former London Festival Ballet. But yes, I presume the reduced touring within England has been because of financial considerations. Big shame.

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According to Craig Hassall the managing director who left the company in 2012 ENB's UK tours lost £100,000 a week at that time. I wonder what the losses are currently?  Presumably foreign tours  have the merit of being cost neutral if not actually turning a profit. The smaller the over all tour losses the greater the opportunity to use the London season as a way of making some money for the company rather than merely covering its losses. ACE must be happy with the amount of foreign touring the company is undertaking. It may well see it as evidence of the current regime's financial competence in that rather than throwing up their hands and saying there is nothing that can be done about losses on regional tours they have modified their business plan to reduce them..

Edited by FLOSS
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