English National Ballet’s New Season
Recent updates as rehearsals for English National Ballet’s 2021-2022 Season begin.
Emerging Dancer: A Celebration – 9 September 2021
Whilst a reduction in live performance has made it impossible to select Emerging Dancer finalists and People’s Choice Award winners this year, English National Ballet continues to recognise the excellence of its Artists with Emerging Dancer: A Celebration. This special event features performances from previous winners and will be live streamed on YouTube and the ENB at Home platform from the Holloway Production Studio in the company’s east London home, the Mulryan Centre for Dance, on (please note new date) 9 September 2021.
The programme for Emerging Dancer: A Celebration includes the recipients of the 2020 Emerging Dance Award, Ivana Bueno, and People’s Choice award, Victor Prigent performing an extract from La Sylphide. Winner of 2017’s Emerging Dancer Award, Rina Kanehara, performs with 2017’s People’s Choice Award winner, Georgia Bould, and 2018’s People’s Choice Award winner, Alice Bellini, in a new work entitled Lilith’s voice by Nikita Goile. Alison McWhinney and Junor Souza, who were joint winners of the Emerging Dancer Award in 2014, will perform a pas de deux from Liam Scarlett’s No Man’s Land. Emerging Dancer Award winners Aitor Arietta (2017) and Julia Conway (2019) perform a Grand pas Classique. Mlindi Kulashe creates a new work for 2019’s People’s Choice Award winner, Rhys Antoni Yeomans, whilst Shiori Kase, who received the Emerging Dancer Award in 2011, will perform a pas de deux from Flames of Paris with 2018’s winner, Daniel McCormick.
English National Ballet First Soloist, James Streeter, who is producing the event as part of the Company’s Dance Leaders of the Future programme, said: ‘It’s a huge honour to be involved in this very special event. It is a real opportunity for us to celebrate not only the incredible journeys these dancers have been on since winning an award as part of the competition but also to thank and celebrate with our audiences who have made Emerging Dancer what it is today.‘
Lead Principal Erina Takahashi celebrates 25 years with English National Ballet
The 2021-22 Season marks Lead Principal Erina Takahashi’s 25-year anniversary with English National Ballet. Takahashi joined the Company in 1996, with a promotion to Principal in 2000 and then Lead Principal in 2007.
Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director, said: ‘On behalf of us all at English National Ballet, I want to congratulate Erina as we celebrate her 25th year with the Company. During this time, Erina’s artistry, generosity, professionalism and complete commitment have been a constant source of inspiration to all at ENB and bought joy to the many thousands who have seen her perform. Erina is an integral part of the English National Ballet family; she brings warmth and positivity into the studio every day and myself, the artistic team and her fellow dancers and colleagues are deeply grateful for her dedication and love working with her.‘
Erina will perform the role of Marie in upcoming performances of Creature by Akram Khan and as Clara/Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker this Christmas.
New joiners announced and thanks given to those leaving
The start of the 2021-2022 Season sees English National Ballet welcome Ashley Coupal and Shunhei Fuchiyama, both Prix de Lausanne 2021 Scholarship Prize Winners, as Artists of the Company.
As previously announced, international ballet star Maria Kochetkova returns to the Company, joining as a Lead Principal.
Hua Fang Zhang returns to English National Ballet’s Artistic Team as Guest Rehearsal Mistress.
We give thanks to Junior Soloist, Senri Kou, who leaves the Company after 16 years to pursue a teaching career and Ballet Mistress, Mayumi Ganley, who leaves to pursue other projects.
As previously announced, the much-anticipated world premiere of Creature by Akram Khan will take place at Sadler’s Wells from 23 September – 2 October 2021. Creature is an unearthly tale of exploitation and human frontiers inspired by Georg Büchner’s expressionist classic Woyzeck, with shadows of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Drawing on themes of abandonment, isolation and the fragility of the mind, Creature is the tale of an outsider and the search for belonging and is Akram Khan’s third collaboration with the Company.
Tickets for English National Ballet’s winter season at the London Coliseum are also on sale now. The Company returns to the venue with their annual Christmas production Nutcracker (16 December 2021 – 8 January 2022) and the world premiere of Tamara Rojo’s adaptation of Raymonda (13 January – 23 January 2022).
English National Ballet’s digital platform ENB at Home continues to provide Ballet on Demand and BalletActive content for those looking to watch full-length ballet productions or take part in classes from home and on the move. BalletActive now hosts over 160 different ballet-based classes for all abilities, from beginners to advanced as well as yoga and strength and conditioning sessions to support ballet practice. On Ballet on Demand the five dance films which were first created in 2020 for the Company’s digital season are now available as a package. The Reunion package is available for £15 for 14 days access plus a bonus 38 minute documentary giving an insight into the inspiration behind the pieces and process of creating the films.