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Press Release: English National Ballet 2019-2020 season announced

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English National Ballet 2019-2020 Season



  • English National Ballet says ‘Thank You’ as it celebrates its 70th Anniversary 
  • Akram Khan to create second full-length production for English National Ballet 
  • Le Corsaire returns with performances at Milton Keynes Theatre and the London Coliseum
  • Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella to be performed in Manchester and Southampton 
  • The Company’s first full Season after moving to their new home at London City Island 
  • Mayor of London awards £1million grant through his Good Growth Fund to support English National Ballet’s ‘Bridging Neighbourhoods – Growing Talent’ project 
  • English National Ballet appoints first Medical Director to maximise the benefits of the new building’s state-of-the-art fitness and rehabilitation facilities


English National Ballet today announces plans for its 2019-2020 Season and updates on their new home at London City Island: 


2020 marks English National Ballet’s 70th Anniversary with celebrations taking place throughout the 2019-2020 Season that give opportunities for the Company to say, ‘Thank You’ to its audiences, fans, friends and partners. 


The 70th Anniversary will be celebrated with three special Gala performances at the London Coliseumfeaturing extracts from a diverse range of repertoire spanning English National Ballet’s history.


Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director said: “Our 70th Anniversary Gala performances are a rare opportunity to showcase in one place a huge variety of brilliant work from our extraordinarily rich history. This will be a Gala that celebrates the sheer love of dance, both on and off the stage, that has been part of our vision from the beginning. Throughout the three performances we will be bringing together as many people as possible from the English National Ballet family, on stage and in the audience, to celebrate and give thanks for the generosity of all who make this the very special Company it is. Alongside the Gala, we want to make sure we thank our audiences and partners throughout the season and will do so in a variety of creative ways.”


Celebrating and thanking its touring communities, English National Ballet will give away 70 tickets during each run in every city it tours to. Working with its partner venues, these tickets will be distributed to individuals who are making a positive impact in their community. To thank its audiences and fans, English National Ballet will also give a ‘Golden Ticket’ for a special English National Ballet experience to one audience member per performance throughout the season. Opportunities will include behind-the-scenes tours, complimentary tickets, and meet and greets. Further details and additional events to be announced throughout the season.


English National Ballet will mark its 70th Anniversary having moved into a new home at London City Island, Canning Town. This state-of-the-art building, designed especially for English National Ballet and English National Ballet School and featuring a theatre size production studio fitted with fly tower, allows for the 2019-2020 Season to be shaped with a renewed commitment to, and freedom for, creativity and ambition.  


Renowned choreographer Akram Khan returns to create a second full-length production for English National Ballet following the success of Giselle. Taking inspiration from Mary Shelley’s literary classic, Frankenstein, Khan’s new ballet, titled Creature, is influenced by essential questions on ambition, human endeavour and morality. Creature is co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, London, where it will premiere in April 2020. 


Akram Khan said: Since I was a child, I have been obsessed and fascinated with the story of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. The outcast, the monster, or the stranger has always been a common theme in my works. But in this new creation, I am looking further into the areas related to the sense of abandonment, rage and loss. Having made Giselle on English National Ballet in 2016, I am extremely excited to create a new full-length work with them.”


Tamara Rojo said: “Akram is an extraordinary artist, with an exceptional vision and inquisitive, inspiring mind. His masterful choreography is like no other and he has the skill to use his unique language to craft a narrative that asks some of the most challenging questions faced by the human race right now. I am looking forward to working with Akram and his team again and excited to see where this exploration takes him and the company in what will be our third project together.”


The 2019-2020 Season will also see the return of Khan’s first full-length collaboration with English National Ballet, Giselle, with performances at Sadler’s Wells in September, with English National Ballet Philharmonic. Co-produced with Manchester International Festival and Sadler’s Wells, the critically acclaimed reimagining of the iconic ballet received its world premiere in 2016 and has since been seen live by over 80,000 people through tours to nine cities, both in the UK and internationally. Giselle has also been broadcast in cinemas and was recently released on DVD and Blu-ray. 


For the first time, there will be an audio described performance of Giselle at Sadler’s Wells this autumn, making the ballet accessible to visually impaired people. Based on the original audio description created by Audio Described Aotearoa as part of the Auckland Arts Festival, a description of the action as it appears on stage will be given as well as an on-stage ‘touch tour’ ahead of the performance, in which participants are given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with costumes and props through touch. 


Continuing its commitment to UK touring and presenting world-class ballet to the widest possible audience, Autumn 2019 sees English National Ballet present three acclaimed ballets, Cinderella, Le Corsaire, and Nutcracker, on tour. 


Following Christopher Wheeldon’s restaging of Cinderella for in-the-round performances at the Royal Albert Hall in June 2019, English National Ballet will bring the proscenium arch version of this sparkling ballet to audiences outside of London in Manchester and Southampton. This inventive production combines magnificent sets and costumes, beautiful choreography, and Prokofiev’s sublime score performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. 


Having delighted audiences around the world with tours including Japan, Paris, and Spain, Autumn 2019 sees Le Corsaire return to Milton Keynes six years after its 2013 premiere in that same city, before performances at the London Coliseum in January 2020. The only UK company to perform the complete work, English National Ballet’s production was staged by Anna-Marie Holmes and features sets by Hollywood designer, Bob Ringwood, and a sweeping score performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. 


Tamara Rojo said: Le Corsaire is a spectacular ballet that gives us another opportunity to showcase the extraordinary talent that is present throughout the entire Company right now. There is a physical power and brilliant dramatic presence in this generation of dancers, and I am looking forward to seeing them take on these roles which I think they will relish and have such fun with, and I think audiences will too.”


Continuing its Christmas tradition of presenting a Nutcracker production each year since 1950, English National Ballet’s Nutcracker will tour to Liverpool ahead of performances at the London Coliseum. Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score is performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Since its premiere in 2010, this festive family favourite has been seen by over 660,000 people, and continues to attract new audiences, with 70% of 2018’s audience members first time attenders at the London Coliseum. 


English National Ballet remains committed to developing and nurturing talent within the company. Emerging Dancer, which returns in Spring 2020, recognises the excellence of the Company’s artists through an annual celebration that sees six finalists mentored by their peers to perform in front of a panel of eminent judges. The winner of Emerging Dancer is announced alongside the Peoples Choice award and the Corps de Ballet award, introduced to recognise the hard work and dedication of an exceptional member of the corps.


Developing the ballet audience of tomorrow, English National Ballet and English National Ballet Schools My First Ballet series takes a popular ballet title and adapts it in time and length, making it accessible to children as young as three. Since 2012, over 290,000 people have seen a ballet from the series. 2020 sees a new version of My First Ballet: Cinderella performed on tour in the UK. 


International ballet star, Brooklyn Mack, will perform with English National Ballet as a Guest Artist during the Autumn-Winter 2019-2020 Season. Mack last performed with English National Ballet in 2016, in Le Corsaire. 


Taking the very best in British ballet to audiences across the world, English National Ballet tours Akram Khan’s Giselle internationally next season. Following tours to Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg in June 2019 and at the Chekov International Festival on the Bolshoi Theatre stage in July 2019, English National Ballet will take this stellar production to the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona in April 2020, and to the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris in July 2020 as part of the festival Les Étés de la Danse.


Plans for English National Ballet’s Summer 2020 performances will be announced later this Spring.

The Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund supports English National Ballet’s Bridging Neighbourhoods – Growing Talent project


The Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund has committed to a £1million grant to support English National Ballet’s move and their East London focused project, Bridging Neighbourhoods – Growing Talent. Through this project English National Ballet will share its new world-class cultural infrastructure on the Lea River Estuary as a multi-disciplinary creative hub for active participation and skills development, and as a catalyst for bringing communities together through the sharing of culture. 


The project will generate 8 new FTE jobs, 20 new Associate Artists and deliver a new skills development programme that provides training, apprenticeships, volunteering, residences and learning opportunities for 4,000 people over the next three years with a focus on recruitment from the local area and across East London.

Patrick Harrison, English National Ballet’s Executive Director, said: This grant is greatly valued in supporting our ambitious aims as we make our move to East London. As the cultural anchor on London City Island, we will use public spaces, exhibition and shared workspace, a costume-making workshop and production studio to bridge relationships with creative partners and local communities, and make space available for learning, apprenticeships and employment. 


Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “We are pleased to support English National Ballet in its new home at London City Island, and that the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund has helped unlock significant wider benefits from this project. I’m confident our support will translate into a programme of local learning and employment opportunities in the future for Londoners in this area and across the capital.”


English National Ballet’s Capital Fundraising Campaign


English National Ballet also announces today generous support from the Dorfman Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Rothschild Foundation, 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, alongside donations from individual supporters. 


Thanks to this and to early supporters of the project including Arts Council England, Linbury Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wigoder Family Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Clore Duffield Foundation and Wolfson Foundation, £34million of the £36million needed to build English National Ballet and English National Ballet School’s new home at London City Island has already been raised.


To raise the final £2million, English National Ballet’s fundraising campaign continues, with a new capital campaign microsite launched today. Every donation facilitated by the microsite contributes towards equipping the new home with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, from sewing machines for the costume workshop, to mirrors for the studios, to treatment beds for the health suite. 


English National Ballet appoints first Medical Director 

Continuing its commitment to its dancers’ health and well-being, English National Ballet has appointed Andy Reynolds as Medical Director, a new role within the organisation which leads on the provision of science and medicine to all dancers at English National Ballet. 


Reynolds joins the company from Harlequins Rugby Football Club where he was Head of Medical Services and brings with him extensive experience as a medical lead having managed all aspects of medical care for the First XV Premiership team and other squads within the club. His role saw him act as lead diagnostic clinician and manager of a large multidisciplinary team delivering medical and rehabilitation provision. 


The Medical Director will work to maximise the benefits of the new premises state-of-the-art fitness and rehabilitation facilities which include a gym, Pilates studio, hydrotherapy pool and treatment rooms, implementing processes and strategies to allow English National Ballet’s dancers to prepare, perform, and recover to the best of their abilities. 


Tamara Rojo said: “The appointment of a Medical Director is integral to our ambition to establish English National Ballet as a renowned centre for medical, fitness, and injury rehabilitation provision in the dance world. I look forward to welcoming Andy to the team as we strive to further invest in the health and well-being of our dancers in a way that supports their artistic development, so they can reach their full potential as artists.”  


English National Ballet moves to London City Island in Spring 2019 with English National Ballet School joining ahead of their new academic year starting in September 2019. 




Notes to Editors

English National Ballet’s Capital Campaign microsite can be found here: donate.ballet.org.uk   


On-Sale Information:

Cinderella, Le Corsaire and Nutcracker open for priority booking to Friends from 10am on Friday 15 March2019 with general booking open from 10am on Friday 22 March 2019. Please note that booking for Cinderella at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre opened in January 2019.


Priority booking for Akram Khan’s Giselle will open 10am on Monday 8 April for Patrons, Wednesday 10 April for Great Friends, Friday 12 April for Friends, with general booking from Monday 15 April 2019.  


Creature by Akram Khan, My First Ballet: Cinderella and Emerging Dancer 2020 will open for booking in Autumn 2019.


Details on booking for English National Ballet’s 70th Anniversary Gala to follow.


Become a Friend today to enjoy priority booking, access to exclusive events throughout the season, and great discounts. Sign up to our e-newsletter to find out when booking is announced.


English National Ballet’s 2019-2020 Season Listings:

Akram Khan’s Giselle

Sadler’s Wells, London

Wednesday 18 - Saturday 28 September 2019

Box Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.ballet.org.uk/giselle 



Palace Theatre, Manchester

Thursday 17 - Saturday 19 October 2019 

Box Office: 0844 871 3019 or www.ballet.org.uk/cinderella 



Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Wednesday 23 - Saturday 26 October 2019

Box Office: 02380 711811 or www.ballet.org.uk/cinderella 


Le Corsaire 

Milton Keynes Theatre

Wednesday 20 - Saturday 23 November 2019 

Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or www.ballet.org.uk/lecorsaire 



Liverpool Empire

Wednesday 27 - Saturday 30 November 2019 

Box Office: 0844 871 3017 or www.ballet.org.uk/nutcracker 



London Coliseum

Wednesday 11 December 2019 - Sunday 5 January 2020

Box Office: 020 7845 9300 or ballet.org.uk/nutcracker


Le Corsaire 

London Coliseum

Wednesday 8 - Tuesday 14 January 2020 

Box Office: 020 7845 9300 or www.ballet.org.uk/lecorsaire


English National Ballet’s 70th Anniversary Gala 

London Coliseum

Friday 17 - Saturday 18 January 2020 

Further details to be announced 


Creature by Akram Khan 

Sadler’s Wells, London

Wednesday 01 - Wednesday 08 April 2020

On sale details to be announced / www.ballet.org.uk/creature 


Emerging Dancer 
Spring 2020 

Further details to be announced 


My First Ballet: Cinderella 

Spring 2020 

Further details to be announced 


Akram Khan’s Giselle

Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona 

Wednesday 22 - Saturday 25 April 2020



Akram Khan’s Giselle

Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris
July 2020 

Further details to be announced 

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.


About English National Ballet School 

English National Ballet School is a world-renowned specialist training centre for aspiring and highly talented young ballet dancers aged 16 to 19. Founded in 1988 by English National Ballet, today the school exists as a separate entity but maintains strong links with its parent company, sharing its commitment to excellence and access. Its mission is to nurture and develop the next generation of world-class dance artists; artists who are confident and versatile, able to push boundaries and bring their creativity to the fore. Students participate in a three-year programme, validated by Trinity College London, with graduates joining prestigious dance companies worldwide. Currently a third of the dancers at English National Ballet are graduates of the School. The School also offer weekly children’s ballet classes, ENBS Juniors, for 3–10-year olds.

About NatWest, Principal Partner of English National Ballet

NatWest serves customers in England and Wales, supporting them with their personal, private, and business banking needs. NatWest helps customers at all stages in their lives, from opening student accounts, to buying their first home, setting up a business, and saving for retirement.

Alongside a wide range of banking services, NatWest offers businesses specialist sector knowledge in areas such as manufacturing and technology, as well as access to specialist entrepreneurial support.

About the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund

The Good Growth Fund is the Mayor of London’s biggest regeneration fund and is delivered through the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP). It was launched in June 2017 and provides capital funding from sources including the Local Growth Fund and European Social Fund, as well as expert regeneration advice, design support and knowledge sharing opportunities. For more information, see: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/regeneration/funding-opportunities/good-growth-fund-supporting-regeneration-london   


About the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP)

The London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) is the local enterprise partnership for London. The LEAP brings entrepreneurs and business together with the Mayoralty and London Councils to identify strategic actions to support and lead economic growth and job creation in the capital. For more information, see: https://lep.london/



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  • Jan McNulty changed the title to Press Release: English National Ballet 2019-2020 season announced

After a couple of exciting years with Le Corsaire, Khan's Giselle and even Swan Lake we are back to Nutcracker next year!  As I loathe the current production and they haven't announced a new one it looks as though I'll be saving a lot of money!  But I can spend it on Cinderella in Manchester and maybe Corsaire in MK instead!

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I was really hoping they would bring Khan’s Giselle to Milton Keynes as  Le Corsair was  performed there  just two years ago,  but I guess it’s good news that this venue hasn’t been dropped.



Just realised that Le Corsair was performed in Oxford , not Milton Keynes and I think it was three years ago! Editors feel to delete my post 

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Is it just me or... My mouth is positively watering at the prospect of Akram Khan's Creature. However a little voice is also asking if this is being mounted so that ENB can effectively say to the RB: this is how it should be done...


But I absolutely cannot wait for it.

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Don't forget that sometimes when venues appear to be dropped from a company's schedule it can sometimes be because they don't have appropriate dates available, e.g. if there's a long run of a musical or something.


(No idea if that's actually the case here, of course)

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I have just had a fairly up-against-a-brick-wall phone conversation with someone in ENB marketing about the post on their site which has great pictures of all sorts of enticing things - ALL the dancers pictured are name-checked except Matthew Golding and Ana Tsyganova who are there sort of "generically" advertising the upcoming Cinderella. All I got was that, as they are not members of the company, (neither is Brooklyn Mack - duly name-checked) they don't have to be credited. I think this is a bit off!


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5 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

After a couple of exciting years with Le Corsaire, Khan's Giselle and even Swan Lake we are back to Nutcracker next year!  As I loathe the current production and they haven't announced a new one it looks as though I'll be saving a lot of money!  But I can spend it on Cinderella in Manchester and maybe Corsaire in MK instead!

I was hoping they would celebrate their 70th anniversary by getting rid of the current Nutcracker. I enjoyed the company under Wayne Eagling's tenure, but it's not best remembered by his Nutcracker, I'm afraid.

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2 hours ago, alison said:

Yes, but since it doesn't seem to be having any problems selling as yet, I can't see why they'd get rid of it.

You are right, Alison, it wouldn't make commercial sense, but I don't think that has been a consideration in the past when replacing previous versions. 

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Maybe not, but IIRC sales on the previous two productions had got significantly lower by the time they were replaced: this one, I get the impression, is still selling out.  While it's doing that, and paid for (I assume), I can't see why you'd run the financial risk of a new production, which might not be so well-received by the general public, when the money could be (better?) spent funding something else.

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Alison, you may well be right about tickets sales decreasing over the life of a production - I had assumed that Nutcracker pretty well sold out regardless. I think that the reason for get getting rid of many previous productions (the Hynd, Schaufuss,  Stevenson and Deane productions) was linked to a change of artistic director.

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I certainly remember getting tickets for the Deane production, and I think probably the Hampson production, half-price in Leicester Square late on in their runs.  If any Nutcracker production was still getting full houses (at whatever price they charge for it these days), I'd regard it as a reliable banker, which is what so many companies must be desperate for in these straitened times - unless of course it was becoming so dilapidated that it clearly needed to be replaced.

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Perhaps Christmas is a factor in Nutcrackers usually selling reasonably well!! 


Actually am just a bit disappointed that ENB have chosen Frankenstein as their new ballet. Perhaps am a bit fed up with this story now however entertaining it is though I'm sure Akram Kahn will do it justice. 

For a completely new ballet there  are so many dramatic themes in Literature to choose from that haven't been turned into ballets yet so I have to admit that my initial reaction was not Frankenstein again! 

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I actually like ENBs Nutcracker. 

My immediate thought on Creature was oh why do the same as Royal Ballet. Seems a duplication. However Khan is nothing like Scarlett so...

I've already got my tickets this morning for Nutcracker and Cinderella on ATG priority booking and looking forward to both. 

Can't wait to hear about the gala show...looks like there will be a matinee on the Saturday as 3 Perfs but only Friday Saturday date given👍👍 I am thrilled that Brooklyn Mack will return hope I can get to see him. 

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The website for the Chatelet theatre in Paris states that ENB's performances of Akram Khan's Giselle will take place on 11 -18 July, 2020.

(Dutch National Ballet will be performing Wheeldon's Cinderella there  from 2-8 July).

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  • 4 weeks later...

Has there been any more news about the January gala performances at the Coliseum? I can’t see it listed on the What’s On page of the website or on the Coliseum’s own site.


While I’m here, the press release mentions that they’ll be announcing Summer 2020 performances this Spring, so I assume that’s imminent.

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