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English National Ballet Swan Lake casting 2022-2023


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ENB has announced casting for the Liverpool and Manchester Swan Lake performances on social media and posted a link to check dates and casts.

 

They have announced that Kase, Oliveira, Takahashi, Hawes and Mair will be dancing Odette/Odile, and that Frola, Saruhashi, Arrieta, Mack (as a guest principal) and Trossello (joining this season from Northern Ballet) will be dancing Siegfried, and Souza (when oh when will he get to dance Siegfried?!), Streeter and Reimair are cast as Rothbart, but not which dates and whom they are the each partnering.

 

On the link (to their website), they seem to have forgotten to add casting....or am I the only one who can’t see it??  😮😆

 

(No casting for the Sadler’s Wells triple bill yet, although tickets for that are already selling briskly.) 

Edited by Emeralds
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Here is the casting. It was embargoed until earlier today so there will probably be a press release soon.

 

LIVERPOOL EMPIRE

Wednesday 28 September 7.30pm
Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, James Streeter

Thursday 29 September 2pm
Shiori Kase, Lorenzo Trossello, James Streeter

Thursday 29 September 7.30pm
Fernanda Oliveira, Ken Saruhashi, Junor Souza

Friday 30 September 7.30pm
Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, James Streeter

Saturday 1 October 2pm
Shiori Kase, Lorenzo Trossello, James Streeter

Saturday 1 October 7.30pm
Natascha Mair, Brooklyn Mack, Fabian Reimair

 

PALACE THEATRE MANCHESTER

Wednesday 5 October 7.30pm
Fernanda Oliveira, Ken Saruhashi, Junor Souza

Thursday 6 October 2pm
Emma Hawes, Aitor Arrieta, Junor Souza

Thursday 6 October 7.30pm
Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, James Streeter

Friday 7 October 7.30pm
Shiori Kase, Lorenzo Trossello, James Streeter

Saturday 8 October 2pm
Natascha Mair, Brooklyn Mack, Fabian Reimair

Saturday 8 October 7.30pm
Emma Hawes, Aitor Arrieta, Junor Souza

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Amazed that a Junior Soloist - and a new one at that - Lorenzo Trossello being given Seigfried ALREADY!!  There are some fine artists - already proven with ENB - like McCormick or Durand - I would have thought might well have been in line for such.  

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50 minutes ago, Bruce Wall said:

Amazed that a Junior Soloist - and a new one at that - Lorenzo Trossello being given Seigfried ALREADY!!  There are some fine artists - already proven with ENB - like McCormick or Durand - I would have thought might well have been in line for such.  

 

I'm sure you are right Bruce but Lorenzo has proved himself pretty special during his time at NB.

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What happened to Rina Kanehara ?  She was a promising upcoming dancer a few years ago and seems to have disappeared...

 

And yes : I am surprised that Daniel McCormick is not cast as Siegfried.

 

BTW who is going to be in charge of the company this season ?

 

 

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Oh yippee, it’s shown up on my device now. Clearly I just needed to sit in traffic jams, queue up behind a long set of temporary traffic lights, and nearly get killed by 2 impatient drivers and a death wish motorcyclist all in the wrong lane in order to get the information up. 😂😅 Wowzer for Lorenzo Trossello- partnered with Shiori Kase for quite a lot of performances! 

1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

I'm sure you are right Bruce but Lorenzo has proved himself pretty special during his time at NB.

Janet, you didn’t tell us that Northern Ballet had a star danseur noble in waiting hiding in there!  ! (I know they’re all stars, but Lorenzo must be exceptional to be leapfrogged to Siegfried before he’s danced a step with ENB!) Hopefully I can catch one of his performances when they head to London at Christmas - would be great to catch him in Nutcracker too. 

 

1 hour ago, MAX said:

What happened to Rina Kanehara ?  She was a promising upcoming dancer a few years ago and seems to have disappeared...

 

And yes : I am surprised that Daniel McCormick is not cast as Siegfried.

 

BTW who is going to be in charge of the company this season ?

 

 

I too have been sad to see Rina Kanehara absent too, Max. Not sure if it is illness, injury, maternity leave or something else. She came back after a period of complete absence (they cancelled her Auroras and Claras which generally only happens for medical reasons) despite being on the roster still (ie she didn’t leave). She came back dancing the Emerging Dancer online show with 2 colleagues in a modern piece with lots of heavy material for their costumes- whereas she used to be one of the company’s strongest classicists, dancing Bluebird (Florine), Peasant pas de deux, the Sleeping Beauty variations, Clara/Sugar Plum, and was down  to do  Aurora. Hope she’s okay and regains her peak- she had so much promise. I’d love to see Daniel McCormick as Siegfried and the Nephew in Nutcracker this season - I think he’s definitely ready.

 

Usually in these situations, companies have two options-1)  the deputy director or assistant director takes charge until the new artistic director arrives, or 2) the outgoing artistic director plans the programmes in advance including things like commissioning new work, and leaves the deputy director to do the day to day running and management (including giving corrections after performances, speaking to the press etc) and sometimes some responsibilities are delegated to other staff such as coaches, administrative manager, repetiteurs. Obviously it’s not ideal to have it this way for too long, eg over 8 months. Sometimes this has happened in companies during resignations (and the occasional death). I think Aaron Watkin takes over in the middle of next year while Rojo is still around till the beginning of the season so it’s not a whole year. She’s more or less planned the whole season. American companies often start their seasons later than European ones, so there’s a bit of flexibility there. 

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54 minutes ago, Dawnstar said:

Gosh, if they've only announced the Liverpool casting a week before performances then my intention not to book for London until they announce that casting may backfire if it sells out in advance.

 

Have you never noticed Dawnstar that the provinces don't matter???

 

I expect they may wait till the 2 weeks of Swan Lake up north are over before they decide on London casting.  You may not have too long to wait.

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1 hour ago, Dawnstar said:

Gosh, if they've only announced the Liverpool casting a week before performances then my intention not to book for London until they announce that casting may backfire if it sells out in advance.

I think they’ll give more notice than that, as there will be a lot of tickets left unsold if they do that, especially for the earliest  performances.

 

I’d like to say casting doesn’t matter, and for me, visiting companies or new works don’t. But if I have already seen the production before eg 15 times, I really don’t want to see the same ballerina or lead danseur over and over again for the tenth time, when there are other excellent dancers I’ve not even seen once, no matter how great they are or how much I enjoy their dancing. I get this problem every year with the Nutcraxker/January ballet combination from ENB. It doesn’t make sense for them to delay announcing the information because many of the senior principals already know their dates several months or a year in advance- that’s how they know which guest appearances they can say yes to. A few “to be confirmeds” are fine-the box office income is not dependent on the name being 100% complete.

There’s no point waiting to see if injury or illness causes cast changes, because that could happen as late as three hours before a show, or even mid show, and ticket buyers are aware of that.

 

Why delaying the casting announcement is a bad idea is because it particularly has a negative impact on the sales of the second ballet. People will want the two-show discount, and if they don’t have the information they need, they will simply avoid booking, and do something else instead. When they’re delayed casting, you can see that sales are much weaker than during the seasons where they’ve announced much earlier. The Royal Ballet announced their Nutcracker casting as early as summer, and when the run begins, the tickets for the shows will be 99% or fully sold out, as patrons have had time to plan. And no, it’s not just because Peter Wright’s production is popular - the bulk of Nutcracker tickets are bought by patrons who have no idea who the choreographers are and don’t care. They booked because it’s called The Nutcracker and because of their perception of the quality of the company and theatre. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

I’d like to say casting doesn’t matter, and for me, visiting companies or new works don’t. But if I have already seen the production before eg 15 times, I really don’t want to see the same ballerina or lead danseur over and over again for the tenth time, when there are other excellent dancers I’ve not even seen once, no matter how great they are or how much I enjoy their dancing. I get this problem every year with the Nutcracker/January ballet combination from ENB.

 

Even for visiting companies where I don't know who many, maybe all, of the dancers are I still like to know who's cast before booking. I think this stems from my regular theatregoing beginning with opera, where casts are always announced well in advance. Now, no matter what genre of theatre, I'm very rarely prepared to book for anything before casting has been announced. I've not seen ENB's Swan Lake before but still want to book for particular dancers. I have yet to manage to see ENB's Nutcracker because by the time they've announced casts in previous years the performances I've then wanted to see have been sold out or nearly so (and no, I don't want to see it from the back row of the Coliseum balcony).

Edited by Dawnstar
Grammar
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5 minutes ago, Emeralds said:

 

 

Why delaying the casting announcement is a bad idea is because it particularly has a negative impact on the sales of the second ballet. 

 

 

 

I hate to say it but most people other than serious ballet-watchers don't give a toss about casting and will go for dates that are convenient to them.

 

Unless, of course, it is a world-famous ballet star.  When Carlos Acosta appeared at the Lowry about 15 years ago quite a few of my team members told me in case I missed it even though none of them had ever been to a ballet or wanted to go to a ballet but they had heard of him!

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2 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

I hate to say it but most people other than serious ballet-watchers don't give a toss about casting and will go for dates that are convenient to them.

 

Unless, of course, it is a world-famous ballet star.  When Carlos Acosta appeared at the Lowry about 15 years ago quite a few of my team members told me in case I missed it even though none of them had ever been to a ballet or wanted to go to a ballet but they had heard of him!

That’s interesting, Janet, and I used to think the same. But it’s very odd how two companies performing the same ballet at the same time of the year, both equally good in terms of technical standards and artistic merit can have  such very different box office outcomes. When you listen to the audience chatter and hear people saying, I’m coming to see dancer X tomorrow and dancer Y next week, there appear to be an awful lot of audience members who care- and most of all, are bringing their kids, parents, best friends or spouses with them.....that’s quite a lot of tickets accounted for. It follows the same pattern so often - the surge in numbers of tickets bought once casting is announced- that you cannot deny it’s a fact.

 

It also explains, for example, why Akram Khan’s Giselle, a relatively minority taste ballet, can sell out thousands tickets on weeknights that clash with Wimbledon or The Crown/Game of Thrones etc season finale while Swan Lake sometimes  struggles to sell at lower prices on a weekend when there isn’t a lot happening ..until you see which show had the casting announced in advance.

 

I suspect the next “trend” that might have an impact on ballet this season idiscounting. With many potential audiences feeling their finances being squeezed, a more successful means of selling tickets this coming season wouldn’t be via TikTok, Instagram or email shots, but listing your show on a discounted ticket website. I’ve often seen tourists do this and have done so myself- if you and your friends/family/companion have a night off but haven’t been researching or following theatre reviews, the TKTS website or similar becomes a useful one stop shop to see what’s available. If eg a play you don’t know is listed as having 40% discounts, which sound like a great bargain, you can then search the reviews for that play on Google to see if it sounds promising. Ballets that haven’t had much exposure or publicity for the  public to know they’re there can benefit greatly from being listed, even if the discount is only modest, eg 10% off a semi restricted view seat. If the core fans’ budgets and time are squeezed, then any help getting exposure for the public to find outfits p about your production,  is crucial. 

 

It doesn’t matter if anyone agrees with my observations here, but I hope the companies will pay heed as they can’t afford to let any seat go to waste this season.

 

Also, ballet companies don’t exist in a vacuum- there are other productions, from musicals to Shakespeare to opera to pop concerts to symphony orchestras all vying for audiences. Ballet companies may believe they always have a core ballet fan audience, but other companies, from drama to sport to orchestras, are not shy about trying to attract patrons away from ballet or indeed anywhere else. Their competition isn’t just from Netflix or Cousin Jean’s dinner party, but from other organisations not shy about enticing patrons to their gigs with news they’ve snagged a popular film star for their next Arthur Miller production, or - as I got in my inbox recently - rugby and opera both offering me freebie tickets to bring family or friends to watch them.

 

That said, for new works, casting generally doesn’t seem to make a difference (unless it’s a popular performer who hasn’t danced here for some time, eg Roberto Bolle or Tiler Peck, in which case, it certainly does).

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On 21/09/2022 at 22:44, Dawnstar said:

 

Even for visiting companies where I don't know who many, maybe all, of the dancers are I still like to know who's cast before booking. I think this stems from my regular theatregoing beginning with opera, where casts are always announced well in advance. Now, no matter what genre of theatre, I'm very rarely prepared to book for anything before casting has been announced. I've not seen ENB's Swan Lake before but still want to book for particular dancers. I have yet to manage to see ENB's Nutcracker because by the time they've announced casts in previous years the performances I've then wanted to see have been sold out or nearly so (and no, I don't want to see it from the back row of the Coliseum balcony).

Dawnstar, from your previous feedback about other productions, I think you’ll like ENB’s Swan Lake. They have two - one for arena audiences and one for traditional theatres- by the same choreographer (Derek Deane) and this is the traditional one. Deane keeps Ashton’s Neapolitan Dance in it, and all the best bits of the standard choreography are retained. I expect that the long run and (sadly), the general drop in audience numbers for every perfuming genre because of rising fuel and cost of living costs, means you have more seat choices this year even if casting is announced late, compared to eg pre 2020. 

 

Sadly, I think even Nutcracker sales will be dented this year for many companies, which would have been unthinkable 5 years ago or even this time last year. Hopefully not too badly dented.

Edited by Emeralds
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