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Press Release: English National Ballet brings Nutcracker magic to care homes

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English National Ballet to deliver special Nutcracker inspired workshops to care homes this Christmas 

This December (8 & 9), English National Ballet will deliver a series of three virtual workshops inspired by the classic festive ballet, Nutcracker, to residents at Barchester care homes. 


The interactive ‘Nutcracker Christmas Specials’ each focus on a different aspect of the ballet. The first session sees English National Ballet (ENB) Dance Artist, Laura Harvey, lead a dance workshop drawing on the magic of Christmas Eve and First Soloist, James Streeter, recount his experience of performing the role of the Mouse King. Session two focusses on the music of Nutcracker with ENB’s Music Director Gavin Sutherland leading musicians from ENB Philharmonic in a live performance of excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s glorious score. In the final workshop, residents will hear from ENB’s Costume Department Manager, Gerry Tiernan, about the creation of Nutcracker’s beautiful costumes including a Snowflake tutu which will be worn for the session by Artist of the Company, Breanna Foad. 

The sessions also include footage of ENB’s Nutcracker performances to set the scene and live Q&As giving residents the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about this famous ballet and the people who bring it to life on stage. 


Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, English National Ballet’s Director of Engagement said: “We are delighted to be bringing some Nutcracker magic to Barchester care homes this Christmas. We hope these unique sessions will provide an uplifting experience and connect residents with the joy of dance and live music.”


Lucy Tomlinson, Life Enrichment Manager at Barchester care homes said: “Trips to the theatre aren’t possible for our residents this winter so it’s incredible to have English National Ballet bring Nutcracker to us instead, transporting us to another world and letting us get a unique look at all the work that happens behind the scenes.” 


English National Ballet is working to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older and vulnerable people this winter by extending its online dance and health programmes. As well as interactive virtual workshops in care homes, ENB’s Dance for Parkinson’s winter term of classes is continuing to be delivered online, as well as ENBEldersCo, our performance group for older people; and Dancing East, our East London based programme of classes for older people with limited mobility, resumes from the New Year.



English National Ballet is a National Portfolio Organisation supported by Arts Council England. 

NatWest is Principal Partner of English National Ballet.



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 been at the forefront of ballet’s growth and evolution ever since.

English National Ballet brings world class ballet to the widest possible audience through performances across the UK and on eminent international stages including The Bolshoi Theatre and Palais Garnier; its distinguished orchestra, English National Ballet Philharmonic; and being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement practice, building innovative partnerships to deliver flagship programmes such as English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s.

Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet has introduced ground-breaking new works to the Company’s repertoire whilst continuing to honour the tradition of great classical ballet, gaining acclaim for artistic excellence and creativity. 2019 saw English National Ballet enter a new chapter in its history with a move into a purpose-built state-of-the-art home in East London which brings a renewed commitment to, and freedom for, creativity, ambition, and connection to more people, near and far, than ever before.



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


About Barchester Healthcare
Barchester Healthcare is one of the UK’s largest care providers supporting older people living independent lives with dignity and respect. Providing a wide range of services for a variety of needs, Barchester Healthcare support almost 12,000 residents across 236 homes for short breaks to long term stays.


A leading care provider over the last 25 years, Barchester services include residential care and nursing care tailored to the individual. Barchester also provide expert dementia care. Many Barchester homes feature a Memory Lane Community, which is a dedicated part of the home designed to support residents who are living with various stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia stay as independent and active as possible. Barchester also have dedicated services that provide specialist care for those who require neuro rehabilitation, as well as care for those with Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease. Barchester have six independent mental health hospitals that offer Functional and Organic mental health services.


The health, safety and wellbeing of our Residents, Patients and Staff are always our top priorities. We have therefore put in place robust and comprehensive plans to respond to the coronavirus outbreak in the UK. Our plans will be kept under regular review and updated as advised by the Public health authorities.


Barchester Healthcare we are proud to be the only care home provider to win the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), Health and Safety Award in 2019 and 2020.  Awarded for contribution to occupational health and safety in the healthcare sector, the company as a whole continue to demonstrate a consistently excellent, and continuously improving performance for ‘Best in Sector’.


Our teams of highly-qualified and attentive staff are passionate about independence, dignity and choice for all residents within their care. Our well-trained care staff focus on the individual needs of each resident, developing a bespoke care plan for each and every person. We employ motivated, attentive staff, who are committed to excellent care and customer service.


At Barchester, we celebrate life and make sure the people we support do too. We do this by treating everyone as individuals, and always tailoring our services and support to meet their needs, which vary person to person. To find out more about Barchester or to find your closest care home, please visit our website www.Barchester.com

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