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Just found a press release:


http://www.ballet.or...Release 24 Sept


Edited to try to improve format. Presumably an administrator will eventually be able to post one in the correct format



Tamara Rojo, the new Artistic Director of English National Ballet, today announced details of the company’s new season, talked about her vision for the company and introduced her new artistic team.


 Ecstasy and Death – three 20th Century masterpieces including the company premier of Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort.

 Nureyev anniversary programme with three of his most important roles

 Tamara Rojo dances Aurora and the Sugar Plum Fairy

 George Williamson creates My First Cinderella

 Loipa Araujo, José Martin & Hua Fang Zhang join the artistic team

 Emerging Dancer 2013 celebrates rising stars


Speaking of her ambitions for the company Tamara said: “I want to transform English National Ballet into England’s most creative and most loved ballet company, embracing and commissioning brave new works whilst keeping the classics relevant. The English National Ballet will build on its great tradition to nourish artists be they dancers, choreographers, composers, designers or teachers.”


As well as her role as Artistic Director, Tamara will continue to dance, and will be seen in the roles of Princess Aurora and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the already announced productions of The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.


John Talbot, Chairman of English National Ballet, said: “We are very excited about Tamara’s vision for the English National Ballet. She has taken over a wonderful company and we are looking forward to her building an international reputation for English National Ballet.”


Looking forward to 2013,Tamara announced two new mixed programmes. Ecstasy and Death comprises contrasting 20th Century ballets of magnificent choreography and deep poetic emotion; Petite Mort, Le Jeune Homme et la Mort and Etudes. In the year which marks the 75th anniversary of his birth and the 20th of his untimely death, A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev, celebrates the legacy of Rudolf Nureyev in a programme which moves from his roots in the 19th Century classics to the contemporary French repertoire.

Supporting Tamara in her new role will be Loipa Araujo as Associate Artistic Director, José Martin as Principal Répétiteur, Hua Fang Zhang as Ballet Mistress and George Williamson as Associate Artist. They will join Répétiteur Antony Dowson and Artistic Co-ordinator Jane Haworth, to make up the new Artistic Team. Speaking of her team Tamara said: “I wanted to make sure that I have the artistic staff who will nurture English National Ballet extraordinarily talented dancers enabling them to develop their potential even further.”


English National Ballet has a long tradition of introducing ballet to new audiences and fostering young talent. Newly appointed Associate Artist George Williamson will create My First Cinderella to give young children their first taste of classical ballet. George will also be responsible for the artistic direction of The Emerging Dancer Award 2013 which will see the company’s brightest young talent compete for the award in a thrilling public performance.


English National Ballet’s Spring Season

Ecstasy and Death

London Coliseum 18-21 April 2013

Petite Mort by Jiří Kylián

Le Jeunne Homme et la Mort by Roland Petit

Etudes by Harald Lander


Jiří Kylián’s landmark ballet Petite Mort enters the company repertoire for the first time in this programme of three contrasting 20th Century ballets of magnificent choreography and deep poetic emotion. Together they will showcase the company’s stylistic versatility, technical brilliance and dramatic flair, drawing on the dancers’ extraordinary physical, emotional and theatrical talents. This will be the first time English National Ballet has performed Petite Mort.


Petite Mort


Jiří Kylián’s beautiful, poetic piece, is a landmark of contemporary choreography and its language has inspired a new generation of choreographers. It features six men, six women, and six fencing foils, symbolising energy, silence and sexuality. The foils become dancing partners in the piece, representing the brutality of everyday life.

Choreographed to the slow movements from Mozart’s Piano concertos in A Major and C major, Petite Mort was created in 1991 for the Salzburg Festival to mark the second centenary of Mozart's death. Jiří Kylián is a Prague-born dancer and choreographer, formally Artistic Director at Netherlands Dans Theatre. Since his first renowned piece Sinfonietta, his work has become part of the repertoire of all major ballet companies throughout the world.


Le Jeune Homme et la Mort


Le Jeune Homme et la Mort is Roland Petit’s choreographic masterpiece. It concerns a faithless woman tormenting her young lover, driving him to despair. It has attracted some of the greatest male dancers, from Nureyev to Baryshnikov. It provides the perfect opportunity for a male dancer to explore the most dramatic of characters as he takes the audience through a journey of destruction and pain led by the ‘femme fatale’ Death. Created in 1946 by choreographer Roland Petit, the ballet was last performed by English National Ballet at the Coliseum in 2011, just days after its creator’s death.


Paying tribute to the choreographer, Tamara said: “I had the immense privilege of working with Mr Petit in his Carmen. It was a dream come true and he was every bit as intimidating and demanding as I had imagined. His deep knowledge of the art form combined with a love for showbiz and razzmatazz was a great artistic lesson that I have treasured ever since.”


Nicholas le Riche, Étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, will join the company to dance the role of Le Jeune Homme, alternating with Yonah Acosta whose interpretation of the role was acclaimed in 2011.


“Yonah Acosta was astonishing: strong, lithe and gymnastic but entirely tortured, too. He has impressed before, but this performance…felt like an instant coming-of-age.” Daily Telegraph



Etudes is Harald Lander’s glamorous homage to classical ballet training and dance. It requires a corps de ballet with exceptional skills and uses both their artistry and technique to great effect. Etudes showcases the rigorous training a dancer goes through every day to gain strength, agility and speed, and, above all, elegance.


Etudes celebrates the journey from daily ballet class moves and simple stretching at the barre to the full blown virtuosity and bravura of the final performance. Created in 1948, it became a signature piece for English National Ballet following the company’s first performance in 1955. The music is taken from a Carl Czerny study adapted and orchestrated by Knudaage Riisager.


Etudes returns to the company’s repertoire after four years, and was last seen at the Royal Festival Hall in 2008.


“…the full 39-strong cast is flying across the stage with the split-second

co-ordination of particles in the Hadron collider.” The Observer


A Tribute To Rudolf Nureyev

London Coliseum 25-27 July 2013


Petrushka by Michel Fokine

Song of a Wayfarer by Maurice Béjart

Nureyev’s Raymonda Act III by Rudolf Nureyev


2013 marks both the 75th anniversary of the birth of Rudolf Nureyev and the 20th of his untimely death. English National Ballet pays tribute to the legacy of this great artist in a programme of three works he made his own, celebrating his career from his beginnings with 19th Century classical ballet, through his interpretation of a masterpiece of the Ballets Russes, to his embrace of the innovative 20th Century of Maurice Béjart.

Speaking of the Nureyev legacy, Tamara said: “Nureyev is without a doubt the most inspiring figure in the history of male dancing. His defection caused a huge stir, but most importantly he changed for ever the way we viewed the role of the male ballet dancer in the west. His huge legacy left an imprint throughout the classical repertoire and he continues to be an inspiration to the generations of young dancers of today.”



Choreographed by Fokine, with a rousing score by Stravinsky, Petrushka tells the tale of a hopelessly romantic puppet who is trapped in a love triangle. Petrushka is in love with the Ballerina, but she only has eyes for the Moor who returns her affection. The tragic Petrushka suffers from the fact he is no more than a puppet who cannot express his love like a human and dances to his death as he fights against the Moor for his heart’s desire.

Petrushka was first performed by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris in 1911

with Nijinsky in the title role. Nureyev first danced Petrushka in 1963, and following his highly acclaimed performance of the lovelorn puppet went on to dance the role throughout his career around the world.


Song of a Wayfarer

Maurice Béjart’s Song of a Wayfarer is one of the most beautiful ballets ever created for the male dancer. The story follows a romantic wayfarer who wanders from town to town looking for freedom but condemned by destiny to a life of eternal unhappiness and loneliness. Béjart created this piece especially for Nureyev believing that it expresses the errant life of the dancer, going from company to company, country to country, condemned never to return to his home land. The ballet is set to Mahler’s first song cycle, four songs with lyrics by the composer.


Raymonda Act III

English National Ballet is delighted to perform Nureyev’s staging of Raymonda for the first time. The original ballet was created by Marius Petipa in 1898 for the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, and the spectacular choreography and magnificent score enticed Nureyev to restage the production himself in1964 in Italy. Having had an intimate knowledge of Raymonda after performing the ballet as a young dancer with the Kirov Ballet, Nureyev revived many of the dances from memory.

Nureyev presented an adapted version of Act III of the ballet in 1969 depicting the wedding celebrations of Raymonda and her knight Jean de Brienne, following Jean’s return from the Crusades.


Alexander Glazunov’s score for the ballet has been described by George Balanchine who called it “some of the finest ballet music we have.”

English National Ballet encouraging new audiences and young talent:


My First Cinderella

28 March - 26 May

Peacock Theatre, London

Concept and Direction: George Williamson and Loipa Araujo

Choreography George Williamson

Music Sergei Prokofiev

Costume David Walker with additional costumes by Wizzy Shawyer


English National Ballet’s Associate Artist, George Williamson will create the latest instalment in the My First ballets, My First Cinderella. This brand new production, of the classic fairy tale, will be brought to life especially for children 3+, giving children their first taste of classical ballet.


This unique collaboration between English National Ballet and English National Ballet School looks to develop the dancers of the future - enabling students to gain vital skills by giving them the experience of working with a professional company. My First Cinderella will also encourage a new, younger audience, inspiring long-term relationships with the art form and developing the audiences of tomorrow.


This is Williamson’s second commission from English National Ballet and follows his Firebird which he created in 2012. Williamson is himself a graduate of English National Ballet School and knows all too well the importance of performance for a young dancer’s experience. The My First Cinderella tour will form part of the curriculum and assessment of these final year students.


George Williamson said: “I’m extremely excited about choreographing a brand new Cinderella for the My First series. It is so important to inspire younger audiences and have a specially created balletic world for them to fall in love with. I am also so pleased to be working with dancers from the English National Ballet School, helping them gain an understanding of what goes into being in a professional company. It’s fantastic to be a part of that development.”


My First Cinderella is generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.


The Emerging Dancer Award 2013

The Emerging Dancer Award is an annual competition for English National Ballet to recognise and nurture the phenomenal talent of its up-and-coming dancers. The Award encourages excellence and potential within the Company. Throughout the Autumn English National Ballet’s Principal dancers and artistic, music and administrative staff vote for their Emerging Dancer and the Company’s brightest talents are shortlisted to compete in a thrilling live final in March 2013. George Williamson will artistically direct the final, which will see one dancer crowned as Emerging Dancer 2013


The Emerging Dancer and People’s Choice Awards are generously supported by Talbot Hughes MacKillop, the restructuring experts.

Autumn tour, Christmas at the Coliseum and Summer at the Royal Albert Hall


The Sleeping Beauty

Autumn and Spring

17 October - 2 March 2013, National Tour

Tamara Rojo will dance the role of Aurora, with Vadim Muntagirov as her Prince, and Daria Klimentová as the Lilac Fairy. Their first performance will open the season, on 17 October in Milton Keynes.

Choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, with sumptuous costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis The Sleeping Beauty will be performed across the UK this Autumn, before arriving at the London Coliseum in January. Combining grand sets and costumes, Tchaikovsky’s score and displays of virtuosic dancing, The Sleeping Beauty is a dazzling showcase of classical ballet. English National Ballet revived this production of The Sleeping Beauty in 2005, performing it again across the UK and at the Coliseum in 2008. In these two seasons the show was seen by almost 150,000 people.

Begoña Cao will dance with Zdenek Konvalina for the first time, and another new partnership will be Cuban rising star Yonah Acosta, with Senior Principal Erina Takahashi. Debuting in the Principal roles will be Bridgette Zehr with Junor Souza, and Ksenia Ovsyanick with Esteban Berlanga. Alison McWhinney, Ksenia Ovsyanick, Brigette Zehr and Jia Zhang will debut as the Lilac Fairy.


The Nutcracker, Autumn and Winter

22 – 25 November, Southampton Mayflower

12 December – 5 January 2013, London Coliseum

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas with English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The company has performed it every Christmas since 1950. This year sees the return of Wayne Eagling’s version, created in 2010 to celebrate the company’s 60th Birthday. Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov will dance the lead roles in the opening performance and Tamara Rojo will appear later in the season.

Set in a world of frosty Edwardian elegance designed by Peter Farmer, this captivating production takes audiences on an enchanting journey with Clara, her Nutcracker doll and the magician Drosselmeyer. English National Ballet’s dancers bring to life Tchaikovsky’s eternally popular score which features the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Waltz of the Flowers and many other familiar favourites.

The Nutcracker is generously supported by Swarovski, the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Nutcracker Appeal donors.


Swan Lake in-the-round

Royal Albert Hall 2013

12-23 June, 2013


Choreographer – Derek Deane

Raymond Gubbay and the Royal Albert Hall present English National Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall in June, with Derek Deane’s lavish in-the-round production of Swan Lake – the largest production of its kind in the world and London’s dance event of the summer. The show has been a sell out for the last three seasons.

This will be the seventh sensational season in which this ballet has been performed in-the-round. Featuring more than 120 dancers on stage, this production has delighted audiences around the world and has been seen by nearly 500,000 people since its premiere in May 1997.

Set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, played by an orchestra of more than 80 musicians, this magnificent production features acrobats, jugglers and 60 swans gliding across the arena within the magical splendour of the Royal Albert Hall. Set design is by Peter Farmer and lighting by Howard Harrison.


The New Artistic Team:

At today’s launch, Tamara introduced her new artistic team:


Loipa Araujo - Associate Artistic Director

Loipa was a leading Cuban ballerina - one of the “Four Jewels” of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba - and is now a much sought after teacher in the UK and worldwide. She was Principal with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet de Marseille. Guest performances with Bolshoi Ballet, Maly Theatre, Bulgarian National Opera and Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and Béjart Ballet, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Tamara described Loipa as “one of the most inspiring coaches I have ever worked with. Her immense knowledge of classical technique and her wide experience of different repertoires, styles and choreographers, make her the perfect person work alongside me.”


José Martin - Principal Répétiteur

José studied ballet in Spain at the school of Victor Ullate before gaining a scholarship to the American School of Ballet. He joined the San Francisco ballet where he became a soloist, moving to Zürich Ballet, English National Ballet and Boston Ballet, before joining The Royal Ballet as First Soloist in 2002 until his retirement in 2012. His wide experience as ballet master includes work at the national Cuban ballet school, the Mariinsky. Teatre Colon in Buenos Aires, Julio Bocca’s Ballet Sodre Uruguay, Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet. He spent two months this year as acting artistic director at the Teatro Colon.

Tamara said of José: “He has been gaining an extraordinary reputation as a répétiteur over the last few years. His attention to detail and his perfectionism combined with approachability, make him the ideal choice for the role.”


Hua Fang Zhang - Ballet Mistress

Hua Fang, from China, was a Principal dancer Hong Kong Ballet; First Soloist National Ballet of China, Beijing; Guest performer Singapore Dance Theatre, Singapore; Ballet Mistress, National Ballet of China, Beijing; Ballet Mistress,

LaLala Human Steps, Montreal, Canada; First International Dance Festival Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Second International Dance Festival Miami, Florida; Ballet Mistress, Ballet Jazz, Montreal, Canada


Tamara, who first met Hua Fang in China, said of her: “She was working for the National Ballet of China where she made the corps de ballet into one of the most impressive I have ever seen.”


George Williamson - Associate Artist

George Williamson is a young British choreographer and graduate of English National Ballet School. George’s first major commission was Firebird for English National Ballet.

This is a new role within English National Ballet and aims to nurture young talent with great potential. George will also work with arts organisations to build collaborative projects, and bring the work of English National Ballet to communities across the UK, particularly to the touring venues. He will oversee the choreographic competition, which is a yearly event for the Company, as well as the Emerging Dancer Competition.

Tamara said: “George’s first choreographic piece for the company was very impressive. He is an artist of ideas and great vision with the energy and personality to carry them through. In this new role he will explore collaborations with young artists, nurture choreographers within the company and help us deepen our engagement with the cities we visit, working with local artists, musicians and students in venues not normally associated with ballet.”



Notes to Editors

Booking opens on 8 October (24 September for Friends) For information about English National Ballet please visit www.ballet.org.uk

For further information, interview requests and images please contact Nicola Osmond-Evans, Senior PR Manager at English National Ballet nicola.osmond-evans@ballet.org.uk or 020 7590 2933 / 07508 315 063

Funding & Sponsorship:

With funding to Arts Council England being reduced by nearly 30% by 2015, and resulting cuts to all arts organisations, now more than ever English National Ballet relies on the generosity of our supporters to continue to bring ballet to everyone.

English National Ballet is delighted to announce a grant of £114,520 from the Leverhulme Trust to continue the My First series of ballets, a unique initiative introducing the magic of ballet to young audiences whilst utilising an apprenticeship scheme with English National Ballet School. The funding is for the next two years, and will enable My First… Cinderella to go on national tour in Spring 2013.

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation continues its generous support of English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s programme, allowing this ground breaking initiative to expand nationally giving more people with Parkinson’s access to dance classes and cultural activities with English National Ballet. This is the second year of a three year partnership.

International spa group ESPA confirms it sponsorship with English National Ballet. As global leaders in spa, ESPA can be found in prestigious spas across five continents and is dedicated to producing results-driven, natural skincare that is a pleasure to use, ensuring skin looks at its best at every stage of your life. ESPA, a British company, was drawn to partnering with the English National Ballet because of the synergies between both companies and the shared commitment to combining natural beauty with performance.

Quintessentially British perfume house Penhaligons has embarked on a new partnership with English National Ballet by sponsoring two Artists of the Company; Laurretta Summerscales and Nathan Young.

French Sole have decided to further demonstrate its commitment to the Company by creating an English National Ballet inspired ballet flat. The shoe is due to launch in early 2013, with a percentage of each sale being generously donated to help raise necessary funds.

International law firm, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP continue their support as European Partners. The firm has been an active supporter of English National Ballet since 2006.

Talbot Hughes McKillop, the restructuring experts, renews its commitment to recognising and developing the talent of English National Ballet’s up-and-coming dancers by sponsoring The Emerging Dancer and The People’s Choice Awards for the fourth consecutive year.

Further thanks to all our sponsors for their continued support during these financially challenging times, including Chanel, The Dorchester, Swiss Re, Swarovski and our official make-up sponsor MAC.


We expect this to be one of the most popular seasons to date with exciting casting and partnerships. If you become a Friend of English National Ballet you are entitled to Priority Booking and great discounts so you don’t miss out on the hottest tickets in town. For more information email the Development Office at support@ballet.org.uk or call 020 7581 1245.

Key Events:

The Annual Gala 2013 on Monday 25 March at The Dorchester, Park Lane

is English National Ballet’s biggest fundraising event of the year; helping to sustain the vibrant life of the Company, supporting our renowned Learning and outreach work and enabling us to deliver world-class ballet to the nation. Attended by celebrities, long standing dedicated supporters and donors, guests will be treated to a black tie dinner, musical entertainment and an exhilarating performance of excerpts from the Company’s varied repertoire. There is also an opportunity to bid for unique and exclusive items in both the silent and live auctions which aim to raise vital funds for the company.

Tickets will go on sale on in early November. For more information about the Gala and other events please email events@ballet.org.uk or call 020 7581 1245.


Dance for Parkinson’s

Dance for Parkinson’s offers people with Parkinson’s, their carers and family members an artistic and engaging dance activity within the professional environment of English National Ballet. The programme gives an insight into the way a production is put together with input from Company dancers and musicians and there is the added opportunity to see English National Ballet performances.

Dance for Parkinson’s – London

The flagship Dance for Parkinson’s class in London continues its success and this term will be based on The Sleeping Beauty. Due to the increase in popularity and the success of the classes, we will be holding five additional ‘taster sessions’ to accommodate the large number of people hoping to come along to our regular Saturday sessions.

Dance for Parkinson’s – Oxford

Oxford City Council is English National Ballet’s first regional partner for the national Dance for Parkinson’s programme expansion. Activity will commence in January 2013 with our first Dance for Parkinson’s training programme for local Dance Artists with an interest in this specialist work. Following this, two introductory taster classes will take place to engage with the local Parkinson’s community.

In February 2013, participants are invited to a special insight day including a behind-the-scenes presentation and the chance to see English National Ballet perform The Sleeping Beauty at New Theatre Oxford. This opportunity provides a fantastic introduction to the twelve week term of weekly dance sessions which will run from March until May 2012.

Dance for Parkinson’s taster in Liverpool

Liverpool based dance agency Merseyside Dance Initiative are our second regional partner. The roll out as laid out above will not start until later in 2013.

To begin developing a presence and interest in Liverpool we will be running a stand alone taster workshop based on The Sleeping Beauty, on Monday 29 October, with a chance for the participants to attend the performance at the Empire on Thursday 1 November.


Regional events and London Christmas season events compliment the show and give audience members an insight into the production.

My First Cinderella

A series of Dance into the Fairytale workshops will take place at each regional venue and in London. Dance into the enchanted world of Cinderella and explore. In 2013, see the second instalment of our magical series of children’s ballets, My First Cinderella. Join in with our Dance into the Fairy Tale workshops and step into your glass slippers for your first ballet class on stage with English National Ballet. For more information about all of our Events please email events@ballet.org.uk or go to ‘What’s On’ at www.ballet.org.uk

A dance, design, discover project for children will take place in Manchester and London exploring the themes of this much loved fairytale through dance, visual art and music.

Dance is the Word: http://danceistheword.wordpress.com/

A dance writing course led by Donald Hutera, which takes place in February, where young writers are invited to a three day course and then to the Emerging Dancer Awards to write a review, which is critiqued by Donald. The course gives the writers open access to English National Ballet, behind-the-scenes, dancers and rehearsals and nurtures their aspirations for a career in writing. Once the course is over writers continue their relationship with ENB and are invited to write about performances and projects, contributing to the dance is the word blog – which provides a platform for young writers and an alternative perspective for young audiences.

Youth Dance Company

English National Ballet’s Youth Dance Company classes are held weekly at Hammersmith Academy and are led by Youth Dance Company Artistic Director, Holly Noble. This term with the addition of some new dancers, the youth company will be focusing on building their technique and working towards a performance at Hammersmith Academy in November.

Youth Dance Company

English National Ballet Youth Dance Company, comprises 15 talented and committed dancers between the ages of 14-19. Participants have the opportunity to work with highly experienced tutors and choreographers, and participate in public performances showcasing newly created choreography. The Company will promote innovation, personal creativity and commitment, whilst focusing on the development of each participant’s potential. The Company meets once a week during term time and participates in choreographic residencies led by a guest choreographer. There will also be the opportunity to observe company rehearsals and gain an understanding of working as a professional dancer.

The English National Ballet would like to thank the following for their support for today’s event including: The Corinthia Hotel, Daniel Galvin, ESPA and Chanel.

Edited by Bluebird
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The programme looks very exciting if you live in the South East!!! The two mixed programmes sound fantastic to me.


I'm glad to see the extent of the outreach work. The comments re MDI and Liverpool confused me - is the partnership with MDI for outreach or can we expect a greater ENB presence in Liverpool (I live in hopes).

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Miss Rojo, with Shioro Kase and Yonah Acosta who performed 'Bluebirds' ..... and to paraphrase DanceTabs' Bruce Marriott on Twitter, "it wasn't even 10-30!"




Hope you don't mind if I point out a typo, Ian - i.e. while you've still got time to edit it . It should be Shiori Kase.

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A few weeks ago some people on this forum were saying that they would like to see Etudes and Song of a Wayfarer and both pieces are going to be included in this season's programme. Is this just coincidence or does Tamara read this forum?! I hope that Tamara won't feel the need to bring Cote over for Wayfarer (no offence intended); I'd like to see some of the talented ENB men take on the roles along with Konvalina who, of course, performed in it earlier this year with National Ballet of Canada.

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The programme looks very exciting if you live in the South East!!! The two mixed programmes sound fantastic to me.


I'm glad to see the extent of the outreach work. The comments re MDI and Liverpool confused me - is the partnership with MDI for outreach or can we expect a greater ENB presence in Liverpool (I live in hopes).


I understand that La Rojo mentioned that discussions regarding touring are ongoing.

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Funny, I had mentioned Nicholas la Riche in another association on this Forum with reference to the magnificent Madame Rojo ... but I'm certain such is simply all too oblique ... Still, of course, today's announcement is a most happy turn of events. More power than ever to her extraordinary arm. This is, without doubt, an excellent start in a most troubled environment, e.g., no need to set a ballet to the New Democrat hit: 'I'm sorry; I'm sorry'. I am certain there is much imaginative excitement to come.

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I hope that Tamara won't feel the need to bring Cote over for Wayfarer (no offence intended); I'd like to see some of the talented ENB men take on the roles along with Konvalina who, of course, performed in it earlier this year with National Ballet of Canada.

Well, if you do end up "having" to see Cote and Konvalina together in Wayfarer, you certainly won't regret it! But I understand what you mean about giving roles to one's home dancers instead of guests.

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I attended the ENB press conference this morning on behalf of this forum. As Bluebird has already put up the press release it saves me a lot of reporting, so I won’t go into the season’s repertory.


Tamara began by saying that she wants to make ENB ‘the most exciting dance company in the world for a dancer to be in.’ She wants to transform it into the country’s ‘most loved and exciting company’. She is passionate about taking dance to everyone, to making ballet more fun, accessible and ‘a good evening out’. She wants to make ENB the ‘go-to’ company for all kinds of collaborators: dancers, choreographers, designers, composers, etc. She promised some ‘surprising’ collaborations in future, and said that it is during hard times that you need to be daring and raise the bar; she added that “I know I am not the world’s best dancer, but I am the most bloody-minded!” She told us how lucky she felt, that little 5 year-old girl who peeked into a dance class one day and was immediately smitten, who is now the Artistic Director of a world-class company, one which she has always loved and for which she has always had a lot of respect.


With regard to repertoire, she said that the classics have always had, and always will have, an important place at ENB, but they are not enough. A company has to move forward and commission new works as well as performing less known popular ones. There will be changes to the repertoire, and she said that in times of cuts it is challenging because you have to be ‘more imaginative.’ She wants the company to inspire people, both artists and audiences.


She intends to take pieces performed in London to other parts of the country; she is very aware of the difficulties in getting people outside London into theatres to see triple bills or lesser-known full length ballets, such as Manon, but added that she has no intention of ‘patronizing’ people in other cities and towns in the UK by just giving them the usual classical pieces. She has ideas about involving local people more than just by publicity for a show…getting them to come to open classes and rehearsals, for example; if they are engaged and involved, she hopes they will want to see the shows too.


With regards to commissioning new ballets, she said that this is already being done, but it was too late to do anything for her first season. She would only add that it would be a surprise….her ideal triple bill would be one that contained something surprising but also pieces using classical ballet technique for the ballet fans: “after all, they are paying their money to see what they like and I don’t want to make anyone’s evening hell!”


She isn’t sure yet how much she will be dancing in future; she will just see how it goes. She isn’t guesting abroad at all in the coming year as she has too much to do in her new role.


She said that touring is very important to the company, both within the UK and abroad, the latter because ENB are such good artistic ambassadors for the country. She will also try and use electronic media more and in different ways to try to engage with a wider range of young people.


Tamara introduced her new artistic staff (details in the PR above), and informed everyone that it is hoped the announcement of the new ENB Chief Executive will happen soon so that things can settle down. She is very determined to do her best for the dancers: “I have a duty of care to them. They are very young and if we are lucky we will have them with us for 20 years, after which I want them go and have a good life. We need to take care of them not only physically, but mentally too, so that they can do this.” She emphasised how lucky she is to have such talented, world-class dancers to work with. To illustrate this, we were treated to part one of the Bluebird pas de deux danced by Yonah Acosta and Shiori Kase, both of whom looked great and did very well on a small stage.


To conclude, Tamara Rojo is a very determined woman, one who has far-reaching vision and ideas but is realistic about the restrictions within which she will have to function. She said the most daunting part of her job will be future changes in policy towards the arts, such as funding cuts and visa restrictions. However, I am of the impression that she will do her utmost to make the most of what resources she has at any given time, and wish her very well in her endeavours.

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I was lucky enough to see Song of a Wayfarer in Toronto this summer (with the lovely toursenlair!) performed by Cote and Konvalina and it rates as one of the best things I have seen on stage. The power of the piece is quite astonishing, the dancers have to be truly first-rate to pull it off, and, as a guy who does ballet as a hobby, it was just immensely inspiring to see such a gorgeous piece choreographed for two guys. Cannot wait to see ENB do it!

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Well, I'm very pleased with the two triple bills scheduled for this season. I think that Tamara has made some clever choices. I assume that she was aware of Konvalina's performance in Wayfarer and has decided to build on that. I wonder whether she will be asking Maina Gielgud to stage it. I'm happy for Nicholas Le Riche to be brought over as a big name in La Jeune Homme et La Mort. If Etudes is similar to Suite en Blanc that will suit the company very well and will provide a contrast to the other two ballets in the programme. I think that ENB should not expect to fill the Coliseum for these triple bills. I hope that Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and Swan Lake at the RAH will make enough money to subsidise these triple bills. Has Petite Mort been performed by any UK ballet company before? I think that ballets which are new to the UK are a good idea for ENB as they may draw in ballet-goers who are not ENB regulars.

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I have seen Petite Mort performed many times by Rambert and also a couple of years ago by RDB. I love Petite Mort.


I also wonder if Tamara Rojo has looked at the wonderful ENB back catalogue and decided to revive Songs of a Wayfarer which was often performed by the company in the mid-1980s when I first started watching them.


Etudes is MAGNIFICENT and, again from the 1980s, I have many happy memories of seeing glorious performances by ENB. Looking at some of the dancers in the company now, I have high hopes that they will step up to, if not exceed, the mark. I do hope ENB feel able to tour these terrific looking mixed programmes. I'm already thinking of a ballet-rich trip to London in April. I may have to add another night or 2!

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I love Petite Mort.


I also wonder if Tamara Rojo has looked at the wonderful ENB back catalogue and decided to revive Songs of a Wayfarer which was often performed by the company in the mid-1980s when I first started watching them.


Etudes is MAGNIFICENT and, again from the 1980s, I have many happy memories of seeing glorious performances by ENB.


I was thinking mid/late 80s too when I posted above. I've been a bit ambivalent about Petite Mort in the past (presumably NDTx have also performed it in the UK, along with several others?), and tend to find Etudes just a little too long for my liking, but will be happy to be persuaded otherwise. I've never seen Wayfarer, though - LFB either took it out of the rep just before I started watching it, or I was too conservative to go and see it back in my early years.

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Janet is so right Etudes is magnificent, I remember seeing it in 1956(yes I am that old!!) with Toni Lander John Gilpin and Fleming Flindt and later with other wonderful casts Samsova ,Prokovsky,Shauffuss,Dubreuil,Miklosy, Bart in the 60's and 70's. Being away I did miss the 80's revival ,it is a vibrant Ballet and so good for company technique.

I am bemused that Petrushka is on the Nureyev tribute, it was certainly not one of his signature ballets and IMO he was not very good in it, but pleased about Raymonda (although purists don't like it) will they keep the RB designs

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