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I've just come across this on twitter:

 

http://www.lsh.co.uk/commercial-property-news/2014/07/lambert-smith-hampton-seeks-new-home-for-english-national-ballet-and-english-national-ballet-school

 

 

"National commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton has been appointed to find a joint London home for English National Ballet and English National Ballet School, which will become the first combined training and dance facility in the UK."

 

 

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Bit confused by the " first combined training and dance facility" in UK statement?

 

Surely once upon a time, in the Royal Ballets early days, both company and school were on the same premises? And when US were at Barons Court did not the company rehearse there too? I hope those more knowlegable than I clarify.

 

In any case Ballet Theatre UK are shortly moving both school and company on to the same premises too so as to become a joint dance and training facility.

 

Good luck to ENB, I think its about time but they maybe have to drop the "1st in UK" claims. Unless Ive misunderstod their intentions?

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Yes, the RB and the RB Upper School were based together in Barons Court.

 

And, in addition to those companies and schools mentioned above, the RB Upper School is linked to the RB itself across Floral Street by the Bridge of Aspiration.

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I wonder where they'll go. I suspect that they'll need to move quite a lot further out, to a more 'marginal' area, if they want more space. The studios at ENB are a bit cramped but I'm sure that the dancers will be sorry to leave Jay Mews with St James's Park across the road and the shops of Kensington High Street a short bus ride away.

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I've just come across this on twitter:

 

http://www.lsh.co.uk/commercial-property-news/2014/07/lambert-smith-hampton-seeks-new-home-for-english-national-ballet-and-english-national-ballet-school

 

 

"National commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton has been appointed to find a joint London home for English National Ballet and English National Ballet School, which will become the first combined training and dance facility in the UK."

 

 

Wonder if this is prompted by a relatively imminent curtailment of lease at Markova House or the ENB School facility?  While Lambert Smith Hampton are looking wouldn't it would be grand if ENB could have a developmental performance space/media unit of their own committed in the designated property as well.  That may, of course, be a pipe dream but ENB are in just such good stead at the moment.  Surely they deserve all they can get to best serve Ms. Rojo's inspired vision on the behalf of us all.  Perhaps they will join the proposed Sadler's Wells' 500 seat performance site plans and move into the Olympic Park facilities.  That could but enhance the Olympic legacy surely ... especially with so much money having already been invested in the development of effective transport links and vast sways of new housing stock opening up with the additional glint of yet another dedicated and supportive ENB audience/educational pool.   As popular London expands so deservedly too should ENB's remit on behalf of the nation as a whole.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I wonder where they'll go. I suspect that they'll need to move quite a lot further out, to a more 'marginal' area, if they want more space. The studios at ENB are a bit cramped but I'm sure that the dancers will be sorry to leave Jay Mews with St James's Park across the road and the shops of Kensington High Street a short bus ride away.

 

Yes, but the absence of really good studio or physio space, the extremely cramped changing rooms, no 'canteen' facility, and nowhere 'private' to relax between rehearsals must surely weigh heavily in dancers' thinking.

 

Conversely, many dancers and other staff will have chosen to live within easy reach of Jay Mews and their travel to work could have a very different feel in the future.

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capybara, I agree with you that ENB needs better facilities. Bruce, the Olympic Park is a long way from most other parts of London. Rambert was in Chiswick and chose to move to a location bang in the centre of London. I wonder if they are looking at King's Cross which is still quite central. However, I think that Google may be moving there and so the property prices may be very high. Farringdon would be good but Central School of Ballet are there already.

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ENB feel like such an exciting company at the moment with the fiercely ambitious Tamara Rojo at the helm. Provided the number crunchers can tally up the financials with her vision, you get the impression they can only go from strength to strength...

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Wonder if this is prompted by a relatively imminent curtailment of lease at Markova House or the ENB School facility?  While Lambert Smith Hampton are looking wouldn't it would be grand if ENB could have a developmental performance space/media unit of their own committed in the designated property as well.  That may, of course, be a pipe dream but ENB are in just such good stead at the moment.  Surely they deserve all they can get to best serve Ms. Rojo's inspired vision on the behalf of us all.  Perhaps they will join the proposed Sadler's Wells' 500 seat performance site plans and move into the Olympic Park facilities.  That could but enhance the Olympic legacy surely ... especially with so much money having already been invested in the development of effective transport links and vast sways of new housing stock opening up with the additional glint of yet another dedicated and supportive ENB audience/educational pool.   As popular London expands so deservedly too should ENB's remit on behalf of the nation as a whole.  

 

 

Well said B2!

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capybara, I agree with you that ENB needs better facilities. Bruce, the Olympic Park is a long way from most other parts of London. Rambert was in Chiswick and chose to move to a location bang in the centre of London. I wonder if they are looking at King's Cross which is still quite central. However, I think that Google may be moving there and so the property prices may be very high. Farringdon would be good but Central School of Ballet are there already.

 

It depends on what you mean by a long way.  There are excellent transport links to Stratford, and it is only about 20 minutes by tube from Covent Garden.  And while property prices are climbing as a result of the Olympics, it is still much cheaper than other parts of London.

 

King's Cross is a great location, but, as you say, property prices are very high. 

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Where on earth are they going to get the money to do this? I thought they were barely making ends meet as it is.

 

Bricks and mortar funding is oh, so much more easily attained than core support; that home of the truly brave.  You can put a proclaiming plaque above the door of the one while the latter is forged with the satisfactory acclaim of the soul alone.   

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Bricks and mortar funding is oh, so much more easily attained than core support; that home of the truly brave.  You can put a proclaiming plaque above the door of the one while the latter is forged with the satisfactory acclaim of the soul alone.   

 

And the evidence of that is the number of companies that seriously struggled or disappeared in the 90s (?) when they got lottery grants to improve their premises, lost their audiences in the process and then had to close because they could not meet the running costs!

 

Hopefully ACE will approve and support ENB's plans and the Company and school will go from strength to strength.

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For example there was a small theatre that got a grant for refurbishment in Manchester, I think it may have been called the Green Room, that was only reopened months after being refurbished before it went into liquidation.  Bolton Octagon Theatre closed for refurbishment and the company moved to an alternative space for the duration.  Sadly the audience didn't follow them and the theatre and its company would have folded months after moving back into the refurbished theatre if they had not been bailed out.

 

I do not know the terms of ENB's current lease but the running costs of the new premises have the potential to be considerable higher, the charges for which would come out of their running costs rather than any removal grant.  Mark Skipper, CE Northern Ballet, as part of a talk to Company supporters a couple of years ago stated that the running costs for Quarry Hill were considerable more than their previous premises for which they had paid a peppercorn rent.

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Fair point, Janet. I don't know whether ENB and ENBS own or lease their premises and whether they are looking to rent or buy. Unless they move to a 'less desirable' area of London their running costs are likely to be higher, whether that is rent or mortgages costs. ENB seem to have the poorest facilities among the big companies now but, unless they are able to raise a great deal of money through fundraising, moving is likely to be an expensive business. I hope that they have got a good accountant and, preferably, a surveyor on the board.  

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Re ENB more generally there is an interesting piece by Rupert Christiansen in the Telegraph about the latest Arts Council Funding review for ballet (and opera):
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/10967940/A-blueprint-for-artistic-survival.html

A quote:
"... my view is that ENB needs to strengthen its core identity and decide whether it wants to compete with the Royal Ballet in commissioning new “niche-market’ pieces for metropolitan sophisticates or follow Northern Ballet in being out on the road."

I think he identifies the problem with ENB at the moment and why, of the touring companies, they didn't get the £550/500K extra that Northern and BRB did.

To be honest I was really flabbergasted that they proposed to do less touring and more in London at a time when the arts vibe is to get out there and not be so London centred. There has also been no press conferences about up and coming rep for next season, as there was in the first 2 years of Rojo's tenure. And now this news spills out without any press release or whatever. Nobody from within the company seems to be articulating what they are about.

To my view the Arts Council had 'extra' money for ballet and BRB and NB put forward winning pitches to grab that money. ENB didn't.

Back in 1990 Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet made a brave decision to move to Birmingham and become BRB. It would now seem a good time for ENB to think as seriously about opportunities outside London as it is in London.

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To be honest I was really flabbergasted that they proposed to do less touring and more in London at a time when the arts vibe is to get out there and not be so London centred. There has also been no press conferences about up and coming rep for next season, as there was in the first 2 years of Rojo's tenure. And now this news spills out without any press release or whatever. Nobody from within the company seems to be articulating what they are about.

 

 

 

To be fair to ENB, it is the Arts Council which has proposed that they do less touring in the UK. I have a feeling that they will do more abroad in the coming years and, if so, they should re-articulate their mission.

 

Of course, it has been the norm during Rojo's tenure to announce the repertoire up to the end of the winter run at the Coliseum quite early on and then to make a bigger splash about the remainder of the upcoming season once the Company returns after the summer break.

 

But all this is taking us a bit away from the subject of this thread.

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A Manchester or Liverpool base for ENB would be amazing - but I appreciate that there is the school as well as the company to consider...

 

Legseleven, I love your idea but unfortunately most Scousers are a bunch of philistines when it comes to ballet and I suspect Manchester is much the same!

 

The Telegraph article is very thoughtful.

Edited by Janet McNulty
To correct name of newspaper
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To be fair to ENB, it is the Arts Council which has proposed that they do less touring in the UK. I have a feeling that they will do more abroad in the coming years and, if so, they should re-articulate their mission.

I don't believe that's true. The ACE document that covers this territory is here:

http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/Analysis_of_Opera_and_Ballet.pdf

 

And that states it was ENB's proposal to replace a week touring with more in London. ACE have gone along with it - hardly for them to say no. But ENB have standstill funding when the others who tour have more and I think that says a lot.

 

 

Of course, it has been the norm during Rojo's tenure to announce the repertoire up to the end of the winter run at the Coliseum quite early on and then to make a bigger splash about the remainder of the upcoming season once the Company returns after the summer break.

Re Announcing Seasons I've checked and I was rather too sweeping:

 

Rojo Year 1 - the announcement of the season rep was made in September 2012 - she only joined in the summer so it would have been hard to do earlier.

http://dancetabs.com/2012/09/artistic-director-tamara-rojo-announces-english-national-ballet-new-season/

 

Rojo Year 2 - the announcement was made in June 2013. This is broadly in line with when all companies announce the following seasons rep.

http://dancetabs.com/2013/06/english-national-ballet-announces-2014-season-and-new-barbican-performances/

 

 

I belive this is all pertinent to where the company lives and how it releases information on such plans.

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I don't believe that's true. The ACE document that covers this territory is here:

http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/Analysis_of_Opera_and_Ballet.pdf

 

And that states it was ENB's proposal to replace a week touring with more in London. ACE have gone along with it - hardly for them to say no. But ENB have standstill funding when the others who tour have more and I think that says a lot.

 

 

Apologies. I either misread or misremembered the pieces about this.  Along with others, I cannot understand why ENB would seek to withdraw from a week of touring and I agree that the Company's standstill funding is telling.

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According to the Agony and Ecstasy programme it costed ENB £100,000 per week to tour 4 years ago and so BRB has been handsomely rewarded for touring one extra week if that's all that it is required to do for its extra money. I think that Tamara is in a difficult situation. She wants to broaden the repertoire but realistically ENB struggles to sell anything other than the classics to the regions and in London ENB is competing directly with the RB whose own repertoire is becoming more eclectic. The Arts Council is under pressure to move more funding to the regions and both the London based ballet companies have felt the consequences of this. BRB, a smaller company than ENB, was more generously funded by ACE even before the latest settlement; it will be receiving over one million pounds more in grant aid than ENB from next year. 

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BRB, a smaller company than ENB, was more generously funded by ACE even before the latest settlement; it will be receiving over one million pounds more in grant aid than ENB from next year.

I think that's what having a winning strategy in place does for you.

 

My recollection was that (from an ACE persective) BRB was funded as a touring company that invested heavily in new work and takes risk. Ie David Bintley 3 act works and some for 3bills. And that ENB was seen as a touring compnay that did the classics and well known - things that would change less and sell more easily... so less money needed.

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Re Announcing Seasons I've checked and I was rather too sweeping:

 

 

Rojo Year 2 - the announcement was made in June 2013. This is broadly in line with when all companies announce the following seasons rep.

http://dancetabs.com/2013/06/english-national-ballet-announces-2014-season-and-new-barbican-performances/

 

 

 

I suspect that 2013's ENB season announcement in June of that year may well have been predicated by the fact that there was no ACE portfolio review (which happens once every three years now) to be announced.  I would hazard a guess that next year's announcement may well be in tandem with other major UK companies as a result.  I should imagine it would have been difficult for Ms. Rojo to make 2015 commitments without concretely knowing firmly what ENB's public funding situation would be, most especially as their public resources have a proportionally higher stake in terms of overall core support than is certainly the case when compared with, say, the Covent Garden portioning for the RB.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
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According to the Agony and Ecstasy programme it costed ENB £100,000 per week to tour 4 years ago and so BRB has been handsomely rewarded for touring one extra week if that's all that it is required to do for its extra money. I think that Tamara is in a difficult situation. She wants to broaden the repertoire but realistically ENB struggles to sell anything other than the classics to the regions and in London ENB is competing directly with the RB whose own repertoire is becoming more eclectic. The Arts Council is under pressure to move more funding to the regions and both the London based ballet companies have felt the consequences of this. BRB, a smaller company than ENB, was more generously funded by ACE even before the latest settlement; it will be receiving over one million pounds more in grant aid than ENB from next year. 

 

 

Well really Aileen I do not think that is very fair.  Both BRB and NB had swingeing cuts applied 3 years ago and the increase in allocation they have received this year actually only puts them back to where they were.  If you read the section of the report that relates to BRB I think you will find that more is required of them than just an additional week's touring.

 

How much does it cost ENB to perform for a week at the Coliseum which is allegedly one of the most expensive venues to hire in London?  I remember in the Schaufuss days that in his final year the company performed at the Dominion rather than the Coliseum.  Sadly, despite the wonderful programme on offer, the season did not do well.  If it had, presumably the Dominion would have become the regular home rather than the Coli.

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Just in case there is a misunderstanding I've been referring to the lack of announcements (or a diary date for a press conference to make the announcement) from ENB re the 2014/15 rep. I assume the following is in relation to that context...

 

...I would hazard a guess that next year's announcement may well be in tandem with other major UK companies as a result.  I should imagine it would have been difficult for Ms. Rojo to make 2015 commitments without concretely knowing firmly what ENB's public funding situation would be...

I think this applied to everybody but RB and BRB have revealed their rep plans for 2014/15 already. Here are the links in this forum...

 

BRB (on 4 April 2014)

http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/6433-birmingham-royal-ballet-2014-15-season/

 

RB (on 31 March 2014)

http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/6441-rb-season-2014-2015/

 

These announcements ae roughly in line with what happens each year, though the RB announcement is a little ealier then I recall is usually the case.

 

Norther Ballet tend not to do a big announcement (though Janet will know for sure!), but rather separate ones a few months ahead.

Edited by Bruce
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