English National Ballet Announces its 2018-19 Season


English National Ballet’s 2018-2019 Season 


  • English National Ballet and English National Ballet School set to move into joint state-of-the-art home in Canning Town, East London
  • ENB’s success in stage two application to Arts Council England’s Capital Large Grants programme for a £3 million investment in its new home
  • Christopher Wheeldon to create a new in-the-round version of Cinderella for English National Ballet and the Royal Albert Hall
  • ENB’s second bill featuring female choreographers, She Persisted includes a new work inspired by Ibsen’s A Doll’s House by First Artist Stina Quagebeur
  • She Persisted also features Pina Bausch’s Le Sacre du printemps and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Broken Wings
  • Lest We Forget returns to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War
  • Akram Khan’s Giselle tours internationally to the Harris Theater, Chicago and to the Chekov International Festival at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
  • Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon performed on tour and at the London Coliseum
  • ENB in Paris, following the Company’s performances at the Palais Gariner, to be released via YouTube

English National Ballet’s 2018-2019 season begins as the Company prepares to move to its new purpose-built home at London City Island in Canning Town, a new neighbourhood from EcoWorld Ballymore.

The Company is thrilled to announce it has been successful in its stage two application to Arts Council England’s Capital Large Grants programme, funded by the National Lottery, for a £3 million investment in its future home. Bringing both English National Ballet and English National Ballet School together under one roof for the first time, the new building will create a centre that combines state-of-the-art training, fitness and rehab, and teaching facilities, seven stage-sized rehearsal studios, and a unique production studio with five-storey fly tower unrivalled in the UK.

The new building will include digital infrastructure which will allow both organisations to capture and share work and engage with audiences around the UK and the rest of the world, and dedicated Engagement spaces to further the Company’s work with the local community and wellbeing programme including its flagship English National Ballet Dance for Parkinson’s programme. Fundraising for English National Ballet and English Ballet’s new move is ongoing.

Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director, English National Ballet said: We are so grateful to Arts Council England for their continued support and investment in our new home, which will be a space that will echo the sound of creative Britain. It will be a place where artists will be nurtured from school to beyond their stage careers, and where our continued commitment to their health and fitness will have the best possible infrastructure.

‘We will have state of the art spaces to allow us to further create ground-breaking new work and continue to develop our artform. It will be a space we will be able to share with other artists and artforms, and will allow us to be even more open and welcoming to our local communities and audience.’

One of the first new productions to be created in the Company’s new home is from multi award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, who premieres a new in-the-round version of Cinderella in June 2019 at the Royal Albert Hall. Co-produced by English National Ballet and the Royal Albert Hall, Wheeldon’s inventive production features over 90 dancers and combines magnificent sets and costumes, theatrical surprises, and lively choreography in what promises to be the ballet spectacular of 2019.

Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: ‘We’re thrilled to be co-producing Christopher Wheeldon’s exquisite production of Cinderella with English National Ballet, specially adapted for the world’s most famous stage. The Royal Albert Hall and English National Ballet have a long and happy partnership, which started in 1997 with Swan Lake and has since seen hundreds of thousands of people enjoying ballet in-the-round in our wonderful Hall. This co-production continues our shared ambition to take great art to everyone.’

English National Ballet continues to showcase the woman’s voice in choreography with its second programme dedicated to female choreography, She Persisted at Sadler’s Wells in April 2019. Following 2016’s acclaimed She Said programme, She Persisted includes the premiere of Nora, a new work by First Artist Stina Quagebeur, based on Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.

She Persisted also sees Pina Bausch’s masterwork Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) return. Regarded as one of Bausch’s most revered works, English National Ballet is only the second ballet Company in the world to be allowed to perform the work.

During 36 years as Artistic Director of Tanztheater Wuppertal, Pina Bausch nurtured an ensemble of vivid imagination and grand scale and developed an artistic canon renowned for its diverse cultural influences and rich visual style.

First premiered in April 2016, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Broken Wings is also revived. Based on the life of Frida Kahlo, Broken Wings was nominated for Best Modern Choreography at the 2016 Critics Circle National Dance Awards. Broken Wings will see legendary ballet star and Guest Ballet Master at English National Ballet, Irek Mukhamedov, reprise his role as Diego Rivera.

To commemorate the end of the First World War, English National Ballet’s acclaimed Lest We Forget programme returns to Sadler’s Wells in September 2018. Featuring three poignant works, Lest We Forget reflects on the experiences of those who fought in the conflict, and those who stayed behind. Drawing on superb design and evocative scores, choreographers Liam ScarlettRussell Maliphant and Akram Khan have created dance pieces full of unforgettable and haunting images.

Since its premiere in 2014, Lest We Forget has gone on to receive the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance, and Best Modern Choreography at the 2014 Critic’s Circle National Dance Awards for Akram Khan’s Dust. English National Ballet also became the first ballet company to perform at Glastonbury when it presented Dust on the Pyramid Stage in front of over 30,000 people.

Continuing its commitment to UK touring and presenting world-class ballet to the widest possible audience, Autumn 2018 sees English National Ballet present Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon outside London for only the second time in 30 years, touring to Manchester, Southampton, and Milton Keynes. Famous for its expressive choreography and dramatic challenge, Manon features some of the most demanding and fulfilling roles in ballet. Manon is accompanied by Julies Massenet’s haunting music performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Also performed as part of English National Ballet’s Autumn tour is its hugely successful production of the timeless classic Swan Lake choregraphed by Derek Deane. Touring to Liverpool and Bristol, Swan Lake features some of the most iconic scenes in ballet performed to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Following performances of Manon and Swan Lake on tour, English National Ballet will present both productions at the London Coliseum in January 2019.

Continuing its Christmas tradition of presenting a Nutcracker production each year since 1950, English National Ballet’s Nutcracker returns to the London Coliseum following sold out performances in 2016 and 2017.

English National Ballet remains committed to developing and nurturing talent within the company, and 2019 sees the tenth anniversary of its Emerging Dancer competition. Recognising the excellence of the Company’s artists, this annual celebration sees six finalists mentored by their peers to perform in front of a panel of preeminent judges. The winner of Emerging Dancer is announced alongside the People’s Choice award and the Corps de Ballet award, introduced to recognise the hard work and dedication of an exceptional member of the corps.

Developing the ballet audience of tomorrow, English National Ballet and English National Ballet School’s My First Ballet series takes a popular ballet title and adapts it in time and length, making it accessible to audiences as young as three. Since 2012, over 250,000 people have seen a ballet from the series. Further details for My First Ballet’s Spring 2019 tour to be confirmed shortly.

To mark two years since English National Ballet became the first UK company in 60 years to perform on the Palais Garnier stage, ENB in Paris will be released in June 2018 via our YouTube channel. A film by Michael Nunn & William Trevitt, this five-part documentary follows the Company as it prepares to make history with its performances of Le Corsaire on this world-renowned stage.

Taking the very best in British ballet to audiences across the world, English National Ballet tours Akram Khan’s Giselle internationally next season. The Company will make its first performances in the United States for over 30 years in February 2019 when it performs at the Harris Theater in Chicago, and for the first time in the Company’s history it will perform at the Chekov International Festival on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre June 2019.

During the 2016-2017 financial year the Company gave 175 performances in England and a further six abroad, to a paid attendance of over 296,000 people, reaching a capacity attendance of 87%. English National Ballet is committed to taking world class ballet to the widest possible audience. In 2016/2017 over 30,000 tickets sold were priced at £14 or under across every UK venue.

Manon, Swan Lake and Nutcracker open for priority booking to Friends from 10am on Thursday 14 March, with general booking open from 10am on Monday 19 MarchBecome a Friend today to enjoy priority booking, access to exclusive events throughout the season, and great discounts.

She Persisted, Cinderella, My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty and Emerging Dancer 2019, will open for booking in Autumn 2018. Sign up to our e-newsletter to find out when booking is announced.

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