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ENB 2014 Season Announced ...

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Including a trio of new works celebrating the century hallmark of the First World War to be performed at the Barbican ... and Deane's R&J with Rojo/Acosta @ the RAH ... oh, and Nutcracker, Coppelia and Le Corsaire (production premiere) at the Coliseum ... 



Edited by Meunier
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I wonder what the Deane production of R&J is like.

OK, apart from the balcony being mortised and wandering all over the stage chasing Romeo. I shudder even now. Hopefully that will be rethought...

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I saw Deane's R&J as a proscenium production first and later at the RAH.  From my recollection it was a straight-forward, attractive production.  I don't remember the balcony moving around.  The performance in the RAH was spectacular.

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I saw Deane's R&J as a proscenium production first and later at the RAH.  From my recollection it was a straight-forward, attractive production.  I don't remember the balcony moving around.  The performance in the RAH was spectacular.

The RAH, in the round, production had the moving balcony - the touring production didn't.

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The Press Release in full:



10 June, 2013


English National Ballet Announces 2014 Season and

New Barbican Performances


  • British choreographers Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett to create new works for English National Ballet.
  • Carlos Acosta to guest partner Tamara Rojo in Romeo & Juliet.
  • First time English National Ballet to perform at the Barbican.


Award winning British choreographers Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett will all create new works for English National Ballet, as part of a programme of dance inspired by the centenary of the Great War.  The three pieces, part of a programme of British choreography entitled Lest We Forget, will be accompanied by a reworking of Firebird by English National Ballet’s Associate Artist George Williamson and will be performed at the Barbican in April 2014.  This is the first time that the Company has performed at the Barbican.


Announcing the commissions today (June 10) as part of the Company’s 2014 Spring-Summer season, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director Tamara Rojo said: “Lest We Forget marks my first commission for English National Ballet and I am thrilled that these three great artists have agreed to create works for the Company.  I wanted an evening of British work and the Great War still has such resonance in British culture and society that the occasion of the centenary was an obvious inspiration.” 


“I am particularly excited to be bringing the works to the Barbican which will offer a natural home for this programme.  English National Ballet has a rich tradition of touring and going to the Barbican fits with the Company’s ethos of presenting ballet to new and established audiences nationwide. The Barbican programmes contemporary dance and has an excellent reputation for working with major UK and international theatre and dance companies.”


Akram Khan said: “For a long while now, I have been waiting for the right moment to work with a ballet company on which to explore, investigate and discover new directions with my choreography, until, in the winter of last year, Tamara Rojo asked if I would be interested in exploring some ideas with the English National Ballet dancers. I said ‘yes’. This is my first venture with a ballet company, and I am extremely excited to create a new work for them for 2014. I have also invited my collaborative team to create this new work with me, Kimie Nakamo (costume designer) Fabiana Piccioli (lighting designer) Jocelyn Pook (composer) Ruth Little (dramaturge) and Jose Agudo (rehearsal director). However, one thing is important for me to point out...it is not just that I am working with English National Ballet that excited me initially, it is the wonderful realisation that Tamara Rojo is in the driving seat of this company, with a fresh, strong and committed vision, that both my producer Farooq Chaudhry and I were happy to be supporting. An incredibly talented and passionate artist leading an equally impressive company!”


Liam Scarlett said: “After having created for and worked so closely with Tamara Rojo as a dancer, there was no hesitation in accepting her commission to create a new work for English National Ballet. It is wonderful to see the company under her directorship and I look forward to be working alongside her once again.” 


Russell Maliphant said: “Having met the Company, I am looking forward to getting started on this piece for English National Ballet. Work for me begins with a meeting point of myself, music and dancers in the studio.  I always search to draw out unique qualities specific to each dancer and utilise those in the emerging work. For this piece we will use a contemporary personal version of classical language.”


Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre at the Barbican said: “As we launch our Autumn season and reveal some of our Spring 2014 projects, we are delighted to welcome the English National Ballet to the Barbican Theatre for the first time. Lest We Forget is commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the Great War and Tamara Rojo has chosen four inspiring choreographers as part of her inaugural season. We very much look forward to working on this exciting season with the Company.


Tamara also announced that she and Carlo Acosta, the great Cuban dancer, will reprise their famed partnership when they dance the lead roles in Derek Deane’s Romeo & Juliet in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall in June 2014.  


Tamara, who was the original Juliet in this production, said: “It’s wonderful to get the chance to revisit this role which I helped to create as a young dancer and it will be a particularly great pleasure to be dancing it with Carlos whom I partnered so often in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet.”


Performed by a company of 120 dancers and actors, this is an epic staging of Shakespeare’s love story from the majestic sweep of the masked ball to the richness and grandeur of the streets of renaissance Verona.


July sees English National Ballet back at the London Coliseum with the perennially popular Coppélia - the comic adventure story of Franz and how he falls in love with a beautiful, life-like doll, choreographed by Ronald Hynd.


Booking opens on 19 June (12 June for English National Ballet Friends), Romeo & Juliet open to everyone on 12 June. Full season details below:


2013/14 Season

Le Corsaire

17 October – 30 November 2013, and 11 February – 15 Feb on tour

9 January – 19 January 2014, London Coliseum

Le Corsaire (The Pirate) is a ballet in three acts, with a libretto based on the poem The Corsair by Lord Byron. Medora, a young Greek girl, is sold to Pasha by Lankandem a slave trader. The pirate Conrad seizes Medora, takes her to his grotto and declares his love for her. Conrad's right-hand-man Birbanto, who is jealous of Conrad, tries to kill him but Medora is able to save him. Lankandem in an opportunistic moment seizes Medora and takes her back to Pasha. Conrad and his men show up in disguise at the Palace to take Medora away again. That evening Medora dances for Pasha, Conrad seizes the opportunity to take her away, killing the traitor Birbanto as Medora unmasks him. The ship on which Medora and Conrad escape sinks in a terrible storm and the two lovers die, sealing their immortal love. English National Ballet is the first UK Company to perform the complete work which showcases some of the most bravura male dancing in the ballet repertoire. Hollywood film designer Bob Ringwood (Batman, Alien 3, Star Trek Nemesis, AI and Troy) has created new sets and costumes. Staged by Anna-Marie Holmes after Petipa and Sergeyev with music by Adam, Pugni, Delibes, Drigo and Oldenbourg. Le Corsaire is generously supported by Alfa-Bank, Swarovski and Le Corsaire Appeal donors.



20 – 23 November 2013, on tour

11 December – 5 January 2014, London Coliseum

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without English National Ballet’s Nutcracker. The company has performed it every year since 1950. 2013 sees the return of Wayne Eagling’s version, created in 2010 to celebrate the Company’s 60th birthday. 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. Nutcracker is generously supported by Swarovski, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Nutcracker Appeal donors.


Lest We Forget

2 – 12 April 2014, Barbican Theatre

Award-winning British choreographers Akram Khan, Rusell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett create works honouring the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Completing the programme is George Williamson’s Firebird, premiered by the Company in 2012.  This is the first time that Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant have collaborated with a classical ballet company.  Firmly rooted in the classical tradition are the younger choreographers, Royal Ballet Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett and English National Ballet’s own Associate Artist George Williamson. 


My First Ballet: Coppélia

5 – 25 May 2014, Peacock Theatre, London and on tour

(Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury / Peacock Theatre London / Manchester Palace Theatre / Assembly Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells / Waterside Aylesbury / Churchill Bromley)

My First Ballet: Coppélia tells the comic tale of an eccentric toymaker and his mechanical doll, in a beautifully adapted version for young audiences. The My First Ballet series brings young audiences their first taste of ballet, with captivating music and beautiful dance. After presenting My First Sleeping Beauty and My First Cinderella at the Peacock Theatre and at theatres around the country last year, ENB2 returns with its graduating dancers of outstanding potential from English National Ballet School. Léo Delibes's irresistibly melodic score is accompanied with narration to ensure that everyone enjoys this classic story. My First Ballet: Coppélia, based on Ronald Hynd’s original production, is choreographed by George Williamson, English National Ballet’s Associate Artist. My First Ballet: Coppélia is generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust. 



Dates tbc 2014

English National Ballet’s platform for up-and-coming choreographers, which previously  has only featured members of the Company, will next year  be opened up to welcome non-English National Ballet participants.  Tamara Rojo said: “I want English National Ballet to build a tradition of nurturing the development of choreography and to open our doors to give other aspiring choreographers a platform alongside our own dancers.”


Emerging Dancer 2014

Dates tbc 2014

Emerging Dancer Competition is an annual event for English National Ballet to recognise and nurture the phenomenal talent of its up-and-coming dancers. In this live final six emerging dancers perform in front of a panel of eminent judges. The Emerging Dancer Award winner is announced at the end of the evening together with the recipient of the People’s Choice Award, which is voted for by members of the public. The Emerging Dancer Competition is generously supported in its fifth year by Talbot Hughes McKillop, the restructuring experts.


Romeo & Juliet

11-22 June 2014, Royal Albert Hall

Raymond Gubbay and the Royal Albert Hall present English National Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall in June, with Derek Deane’s breath-taking in-the-round production of Romeo & Juliet. Performed by a company of 120 dancers and actors this epic staging of Shakespeare's timeless tragedy is set in-the-round. This magnificent production brings to life all the emotions of the world's greatest love story, from the majestic sweep of the masked ball to the passion and intimacy of the lovers' pas de deux. Renaissance Verona in all its decadent richness and grandeur is beautifully evoked by Roberta Guidi di Bagno’s designs. Prokofiev's evocative and memorable score is played by the full Orchestra of English National Ballet.



23 – 27 July 2014, London Coliseum

Coppélia, is the comic tale of an eccentric toymaker and his mechanical doll. Dr Coppélius, the toymaker, has created the lifelike Coppélia doll and wishes for nothing more than to bring her to life. He imagines that his dream has finally come true, but he has merely been caught up in a lovers' tiff. Love triumphs over all in this comedy of mistaken identity and the finale is a breath-taking celebration of the lovers' marriage. Coppélia is an enchanting, effervescent family ballet, perfect for young and old alike. English National Ballet's time honoured production is choreographed by Ronald Hynd. Léo Delibes' irresistibly melodic score is played by English National Ballet's full orchestra.



For further information about English National Ballet 2013/14 Performance Schedule visit www.ballet.org.uk  You can find English National Ballet on Facebook and Twitter @ENBallet


Notes to Editors

English National Ballet is launching a Production Appeal to fund the new production of Le Corsaire.  A new production is a huge financial and creative undertaking, costing hundreds of thousands of pounds. Without support from funders and sponsors, English National Ballet would have to charge more than £200 per ticket to see a performance. For more information and to donate go to www.ballet.org.uk/corsaireappeal, or call the Development Department on 020 7581 1245.


About the Barbican

A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Its creative learning programme further underpins everything it does. Over 1.5 million people pass through the Barbican’s doors annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. The architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, the Pit, Cinemas One, Two and Three, Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants. The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre.


The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, and Associate Producer Serious. Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment, Cheek by Jowl and Michael Clark Company. International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center.





Akram Khan

Akram Khan is one of the UK's most celebrated and respected dance artists. In just over a decade he has created a body of work that has contributed significantly to the cultural arts in the UK and abroad. His reputation has been built on the success of imaginative, highly accessible and relevant productions such as DESH, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees.


An instinctive and natural collaborator, Khan has been a magnet to world-class artists from other cultures and disciplines. His previous collaborators include the National Ballet of China, actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem, choreographer/dancer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, singer Kylie Minogue, visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip, writer Hanif Kureishi and composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney and Jocelyn Pook.


Khan’s work is recognised as being profoundly moving, in which his intelligently crafted storytelling is effortlessly intimate and epic. Described by the Financial Times as an artist "who speaks tremendously of tremendous things", a recent highlight of his career was the creation of a section of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony that was received with unanimous acclaim.


Khan has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including the Laurence Olivier Award, the prestigious ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist Award, the South Bank Sky Arts Award and the Critics' Circle National Dance Award. Khan was awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005. He is also an Honorary Graduate of Roehampton and De Montfort Universities, and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban. Khan is an Associate Artist of MC2: Grenoble and Sadler’s Wells, London in a special international co-operation.


Russell Maliphant

Russell Maliphant trained at the Royal Ballet School and graduated into Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet Company before leaving to pursue a career as an independent dancer. He subsequently performed with DV8 Physical Theatre, Michael Clark & Company, Rosemary Butcher, and Laurie Booth – with whom he was awarded the Time Out Live Award (1991) for ‘raising improvisational dance to new heights’.


Between 1991–1994 between independent projects, he studied anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, and qualified as a practitioner of the Rolfing  Method of Structural Integration (or Rolfing®). These studies inform both his teaching and choreographic work, along with a diverse range of body practices and techniques including classical ballet, contact improvisation, yoga, capoeira and tai chi. Since 1994 he has collaborated closely with lighting designer Michael Hulls, evolving a language where movement and light are intimately connected and the meeting point becomes a language in itself. He formed Russell Maliphant Company in 1996 and has also worked with renowned companies and artists including Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, Isaac Julian, BalletBoyz®, Bayerisches Staatsballet, and Lyon Opera Ballet. In 2002 he received the Time Out Live award for outstanding collaboration for his work Sheer and in 2003 received a South Bank Show dance award for Choice. At the end of that year he created Broken Fall for Sylvie Guillem, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, which premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and received an Olivier award for best new dance production.


Broken Fall was restaged in 2004 as part of an evening of three of Maliphant’s works titled Rise and Fall, and received the Critics’ Circle National Dance award for best modern choreography. Rise and Fall toured for two years and in 2005 Sylvie Guillem invited Maliphant to create an evening of work for her to dance with him, culminating in the duet evening PUSH. This work premiered at Sadler’s Wells and received a South Bank Show award and an Olivier award in 2006. PUSH has since toured throughout the world and continues to do so. Its creation was followed by two artistically diverse collaborations: Cast No Shadow with visual artist Isaac Julien, and Eonnagata which was created and performed with theatre director Robert Lepage and Sylvie Guillem.


In 2009 Maliphant created AfterLight part 1 for an evening titled In the Spirit of Diaghilev, Sadler’s Wells Theatres celebration of the centennial of the Ballets Russes. This received the Critics’ Circle National Dance award for best modern choreography in 2010 and was also nominated for an Olivier award. Parts 2 and 3 of AfterLight followed and toured together with part 1 as a full evening.  At the end of January 2012 his next full lenght work, The Rodin Project opened at Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, and continues to tour. In the same year it was adapted for film, in a collaboration with the directors Warren Du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, titled 'Erebus', with music by James Lavelle. Maliphant’s most recent work, Fallen was created for the BalletBoyz® and premiered in January 2013. Russell Maliphant became an Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells in 2005 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University in 2011.


Liam Scarlett

Born in Ipswich, he trained at the Linda Shipton School of Dancing and then at the Royal Ballet Lower and Upper Schools. In 2005, after graduating, he joined The Royal Ballet, and in 2008 was promoted to First Artist. As a dancer he performed works by Ashton, Macmillan, Balanchine, Cranko, McGregor, Wheeldon, Bintley and Tuckett. Liam’s interest in choreography began while at the Royal Ballet School, where he won both the Kenneth MacMillan and Ursula Moreton Choreographic Awards and was the first recipient of the De Valois Trust Fund Award. While still at the School he was commissioned to create Monochromatic (2004) and Allegro de Jeunesse (2005) for the Royal Ballet School’s Annual Matinee performances at the Royal Opera House. He continued to develop his interest through ROH2’s Dancelines, led by Kim Brandstrup.


For The Royal Ballet he created Despite and Vayamos al Diablo (ROH2’s In Good Company, 2006), and has frequently choreographed for The Royal Ballet’s Draftworks. He has worked closely with many dancers in the Company to create several pas de deux and Gala pieces for worldwide performance; these have included NocturneReverieSomente and Fantasie-Impromptu. For Ballet Black in the Linbury Studio Theatre he created Hinterland (2006) and Indigo Children (2007), both of which have since been revived. In 2009 Scarlett took part in the autumn workshops of The New York Choreographic Institute at their invitation, creating Gargoyles  with members of New York City Ballet to music by Lowell Liebermann. He has twice been nominated for a Critics Circle Dance Award for Best Choreography for Of Mozart (2008) and Consolations and Liebestraum (2009) both for The Royal Ballet’s New Works performances. He was on the panel of Judges for the first Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition in 2011. In 2011, he choreographed Solo's for both Male and Female competitors at the RAD's Genee International Ballet Competition hosted at Sadlers Wells Theatre. He has also been nominated for Time Out's The Hospital Club Top 100 list 2012 for most influential people in the arts. His first main-stage work for The Royal Ballet was Asphodel Meadows (2010), nominated for a South Bank Award and an Olivier Award and winner of a Critics’ Circle Award. It was followed in 2012 by Viscera (Miami City Ballet) which he designed as well and Sweet Violets (The Royal Ballet). Recently, he choreographed 'Diana and Actaeon' (Metamorphosis: Titian 2012) with Will Tuckett and Jonathan Watkins (The Royal Ballet). Most recently he created Euphotic for his second piece with Miami City Ballet and Serpent for the BalletBoyz®. He is currently working on new creations for the Royal Ballet, K Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet among others.


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. In 2013 he choreographed My First Cinderella and was nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse.  His new ballet Tempus will be performed at Buckingham Palace as part of the Coronation Festival and he is creating a piece for Dutch National Youth Ballet will be premiered in Amsterdam later this year.


Alfa Banking Group

Alfa Banking Group, the largest private commercial and investment banking group in Russia and the CIS, has entered a strategic partnership with leading classical dance company, the English National Ballet. The sponsorship with English National Ballet extends Alfa Bank’s existing work of building cultural ties between Russia and the UK, as well as other nations. The bank has previously sponsored concerts and art exhibitions in the UK, the USA and elsewhere. Alongside sponsoring A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev and Le Corsaire, Alfa Bank will work with English National Ballet to foster creative exchanges between Russia and the UK in the classical dance space, and highlight and promote English National Ballet dancers from Russia and the CIS.


Talbot Hughes McKillop (THM) 

Talbot Hughes McKillop (THM) provides experienced leadership to corporates, creditors and shareholders in distressed and other event-driven special situations. The firm provides hands-on, practical support, typically using small, partner led teams to deal with both the financial and operational aspects of a restructuring situation. The role may involve partners from THM taking executive roles (for example as Chief Restructuring Officer) and/or other Board of Director appointments. Founded in 2001, THM has handled some of the highest profile pan- European restructuring projects. THM believes that the arts have a critical role to play in enriching the life of communities throughout the country, as well as in fostering emerging young talent. Business has a clear responsibility to engage constructively with arts organizations in providing finance and other forms of help and support. This is even more critical at a time when the state has had to reduce its financial support for the arts, creating a funding gap that needs to be bridged.




Tickets and Booking

Barbican Box office: 0845 120 7511


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Lest We Forget

Barbican Theatre

020 7638 8891/0845 120 7511

2,3,4,5,9,10,11,12 April 7:30pm

3,5,12 April 2:30pm

6 April 3:00pm

Tickets: £50, £45, £35, £25, £15, £10


My First Ballet: Coppélia

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury

01743 281281

5 April 11am, 2pm, 5pm

6 April 11am, 3pm

Tickets: £25, £20, £10 (Child £20,£15,£8)


My First Ballet: Coppélia

Peacock Theatre

0844 412 4300

8 April 2pm, 7pm

10 April 11am, 2pm

11 April 11am, 2pm

12 April 11am, 2pm, 5pm

13 April 11am, 2pm

15 April 11am, 2pm

16 April 11am, 2pm

17 April 11am, 2pm

19 April 11am, 2pm, 5pm

Tickets: £25, £20, £15, £10


My First Ballet: Coppélia

Palace Theatre, Manchester

0844 871 3019

26 April 11am, 2pm, 5pm

27 April 11am, 3pm

Tickets: £25, £20, £10  (Child £20,£15,£8)


My First Ballet: Coppélia

Assembly Hall Theatre, Royal Tunbridge Wells

01892 530613

3 May 11am, 2pm, 5pm

4 May 11am, 3pm

Tickets: £25, £20, £10 (Child £20,£15,£8)


My First Ballet: Coppélia

New Victoria Theatre, Woking

0844 871 7645

10 May 11am, 2pm, 5pm

11 May 11am, 3pm

Tickets: £25, £20, £10 (Child £20,£15,£8)


My First Ballet: Coppélia

Waterside Theatre Aylesbury

0844 871 7607

17 May 11am, 2pm, 5pm

18 May 11am, 3pm

Tickets: £25, £20, £10 (Child £20,£15,£8)


My First Ballet: Coppélia

Churchill Theatre, Bromley

08448 717 620

24 May 11am, 2pm, 5pm

25 May 11am, 3pm

Tickets: £25, £20, £10 (Child £20,£15,£8)


Romeo & Juliet

Royal Albert Hall

020 7589 8212 / 0845 401 5034

11 - 14, 17 - 21 June 7:30pm

14-15, 19, 21-22 June 2:30pm

Tickets: £19.50 - £60.00 Boxes £55.00 - £70.00



London Coliseum

020 7845 9300

23- 26 July 7:30pm

24, 26 - 27 July 2:30pm

Tickets: Evening performances £74.50, £65, £55, £40, £35, £25, £15, £10

Matinee performances £67.50, £59.50, £49.50, £35, £29, £25, £15, £10

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I was at the press conference this morning wherein Tamara Rojo and Akram Khan elaborated on what is in the above press release. Here are the highlights of what they said:


Tamara welcomed everyone and explained that she felt English National Ballet should really do something to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, so Lest We Forget will be a four-part tribute in dance to that anniversary. She has commissioned four British choreographers (although she says she is very keen to invite choreographers from around the world to create works for ENB, she wanted on this occasion to only use British ones) to make works (see PR above). She said that Liam Scarlett will be creating a requiem piece (which will be a co-production with Queensland Ballet), and Akram Khan said he doesn’t know yet what he will be doing, except that he wants to concentrate on the residue, the effect of the war on those left behind, and how they dealt with the tragedy.


Lest We Forget will be performed at the Barbican Theatre in London. Tamara chose this because they are doing a whole commemoration in the arts of this anniversary, and she thought it would make sense to include ENB’s offering at the Barbican. The Company is very much looking forward to this as they have never performed at this theatre before. Tamara hopes it will be the beginning of future collaborations there as well.


She also informed us that she was delighted that 50,000 people had seen the ‘My First Cinderella’ performances, and that young, up-and-coming dancer Laurretta Summerscales will be participating in the Beijing International Ballet competition later in the year. She was also thrilled that Vadim Muntagirov had recently won the Benois de la Danse.


Akram Khan then took the floor and said that in the past, when he was approached to work with classical ballet companies, he always had anxieties as he didn’t necessarily trust the vision of artistic directors, so this will be the first time that he’s agreed to work with a classical company. He said that what changed his mind was Tamara Rojo’s clear vision, and the fact that not only is she a wonderful dancer, but also an artist, so those things are inspirational to him. He is actually terrified of ballet dancers because he wanted to be one; he was inspired by seeing Nureyev, but when he was told by a ballet teacher to stick to Indian classical dancing, his life took a different turn! He is looking forward to seeing how far these classical dancers can go doing something a bit different. He is very honoured to be working with a wonderful company such as ENB.


A summary of answers to our questions by Tamara Rojo:


- She does not need to supervise the four choreographers for Lest We Forget as they are all different people and artists so she is sure none of them will be doing similar things to any of the others.

- She doesn’t look at what the Royal Ballet are doing programme-wise; she doesn’t have time. She has her own vision of what she wants to do with ENB and isn’t worried about what anyone else is doing…she is very keen to develop a personal identity for ENB.

- Her intention is to get some of the world’s best choreographers to come and create new works on the company in the future. However, she also respects the classics very much and will be keeping them in the repertoire. They are bringing back Corsaire and Coppelia within the next year, as well as doing Nutcracker at Christmas.

- She will continue to invite world-class guest dancers to the company and no, she doesn’t think it takes anything away from the ENB dancers. When she was a young dancer, she learned a lot watching Sylvie Guillem (and others) on the same stage as her; and she had very good feedback from some of the men in the company after Nicolas le Riche guested there recently. Also, there is plenty of work for all the dancers in the company, between the classics and the triple bills.

- She said that ENB’s financial reserves are currently good and in the black. They are investing in new productions which does, of course cost a lot of money, but they are doing fine right now.

- On the whole, attendance figures have been good this year, although for the recent triple bill at the Coliseum there was only a 50% attendance rate, which they do hope to improve on.

- It is important to choose a theatre for artistic reasons, not only numbers of seats. So if a performance will work better at the Coliseum, that’s where it will be. If it will work better at the Barbican, that’s where it will be. Maybe in a couple of years they will have something that would suit Sadler’s Wells, so that’s where it will be. Of course they’d like all theatres to be full, but it’s about more than that.

- Yes, she will be dancing in Lest We Forget. Will I be using any ‘star power’? [big smile]. We will see!

- Sergei Polunin would like to dance with the company, and she is in discussion with him now, but nothing is firm.

- She does intend to keep touring, as that’s what the company is, a touring company. They currently tour for about eight weeks a year around England, and there is definitely room for them as well as for, say, Northern Ballet Theatre.

- She will be taking the company to Spain in 2014. There was also some interest from Russia, but they invited them at the same time as they were going to be in Spain, so they have to look at it again.

- She is very excited about this company and her vision for it; there are many things going on and these will be exciting times for ENB and its audiences.

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Sim:  Thanks for that most useful elaboration on the Press Release.  This must be the first year's programming for which she will have been wholly responsible, and I'm certainly left with the impression of a Director who has taken a very firm grip on things.  And I'd add that I'm equally impressed by her remarks about the proposed Lest We Forget bill and her reasons for wishing to incorporate it into next year's programme.


Anyone ask about the Rojo/Deane dynamic at all!!

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- She will be taking the company to Spain in 2014. There was also some interest from Russia, but they invited them at the same time as they were going to be in Spain, so they have to look at it again.


Did she happen to mention when in 2014 for Spain? And where?

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Did she happen to mention when in 2014 for Spain? And where?

Deliberate haze around this. At the earlier Spanish Embassy 'do' she wouldn't say at all where they were going. Today she said Madrid and one got the feeling there were other cities that had not yet been fully battened down. I think I heard Summer 2014, but again its all being sorted yet and the problems around Chief Exec changes can't be making any of it much easier.

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Yes, it's very disappointing that the new Chief Executive didn't work out. It must put an awful lot of pressure on Tamara as an interim appointment (particularly a part time one) will only tread water rather than take things forward. I hope that it won't be too long before another CE is appointed. From experience I know that, however good an organisation's recruitment procedures are, sometimes the person appointed turns out to be unsatisfactory.

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ENB's Great War bill has attracted some attention in an appropriate place:




The logo at top left is, I understand, the official Government one for all Centenary arrangements, so we can expect to see much more of it in the months to come.  

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