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London City Ballet: a new repertoire?

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Following the welcome news that London City Ballet is being resurrected, the question now is, what would you realistically like to see them dance?  Bearing in mind that the company will only be 12 dancers, that you need to leave some leeway for injury, and that I'm guessing that most of the intake will be young and not very experienced dancers (maybe with some guests appearing for goodwill?), what would you suggest, taking into account the need to put bums on seats?

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Those constraints - and the smaller stages they'll be using - put me in mind of the early days of home-grown British ballet, so with that in mind I'll start with Tudor's Lilac Garden - though I'm pushing it to the limit for numbers (12 in total I read?).

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According to its website they’re starting with Ballade and a newly commissioned piece. 

“Touring Summer 2024

London City Ballet’s inaugural tour begins in summer 2024 in the UK and internationally.  The first tour of the new company will present acclaimed works including the revival of Kenneth MacMillan’s 1972 one-act ballet Ballade unseen in Europe for over fifty years, and a new commission by Olivier-award winner Arielle Smith.

The inaugural 2024 tour will pay homage to the company’s early beginnings, shining a bright light on a new legacy.”

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Christopher Bruce's Swan Song and Ghost Dances for something contemporary.


How about Ashton's Facade.  I know there are more than 12 roles but I've just looked up on Wikipedia and the original cast doubled up on some roles...


The duet from MacMillan's Concerto.


David Nixon's cut down (for midscale and Covid) versions of Madame Butterfly and Dangerous Liaisons.

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I don't mind what they dance as long as it's ballet and they get to dance.


But if they are offering a wish list or a viewer poll of requests/favourites....(in alphabetical order of choreographer's surname)


1) Ashton: Thais pas de deux (music as a duet for two musicians), Dante Sonata pdd

2) Balanchine: Duo Concertant, Robert Schumann's "Davidsbündlertänze", Élégie

3) Bintley: Galanteries

4) August Bournonville: Kermesse at Bruges pas de deux, Flower Festival at Genzano pas de deux 

5) Christopher Bruce: Swansong

6) Dove: Red Angels

7) Forsythe: Steptext, The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude

8.) MacMillan: Solitaire

9 )Robbins: In the Night, Other Dances

10) Stevenson: Three Preludes

11) Tudor: Lilac Garden, pas de deux from Dark Elegies

12) Wheeldon: This Bitter Earth


I think presenting the music could be more challenging than finding the ballets- many choreographers and companies (especially New York City Ballet) have ballets with small casts. The challenging bit would be the staging (costumes and sets) and which works would be allowed to be performed to a recorded score (the ones that are originally set to a remixed or recorded soundtrack would be advantageous), so I've included a good number that are for solo musician, chamber ensemble, or a duo of musicians.


Of course,  if any company presented a programme constructed entirely from this list, it would be technically and artistically demanding for even the top ballet companies in the world. Hence it's more for inspiration and ideas rather than expecting to see all these works in their repertoire, as glorious as that would be! 


Looking forward to their performance of Ballade and the new piece by Arielle Smith.



Edited by Emeralds
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