ENB launches new on-demand video platform

Published: 2 September 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

The Emerging Dancer 2020 finalists Credit: Laurent Liotardo, post-production Nik Pate

English National Ballet is to launch its new ENB at Home video-on-demand platform with a digital season of short works for camera from choreographers including Russell Maliphant, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Yuri Possokhov, Arielle Smith and ENB Associate Choreographer Stina Quagebeur created and performed in ENB’s studios.

Shown in a series of mixed bills available to rent via ENB at Home, ENB’s digital season will première in November and December 2020.

Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of English National Ballet, said, “it is testament to the talent of our dancers and the spirit and reputation of our company that we have such incredible choreographers working with us on our digital season. I’m thrilled that not only will we have new pieces by renowned choreographers to share with our audiences, but that even in these challenging times we are also continuing to support young talent too.”

Following the cancellation of performances at Southbank Centre, ENB will now stream its Emerging Dancer competition from its production studio, which will see this year’s finalists Ivana Bueno, Carolyne Galvao, Miguel Angel Maidana, Victor Prigent, Emily Suzuki and William Yamada perform a classical pas de deux followed by contemporary pieces choreographed by ENB Lead Principal Jeffrey Cirio, ENB Associate Choreographer Stina Quagebeur and Mthuthuzeli November. Last year’s winners Julia Conway and Rhys Antoni Yeomans will be dancing a new creation by Arielle Smith.

The event will be live-streamed on 22 September at a cost of £5 and, for the first time, audiences will be able to vote by text to select a People’s Choice winner.

ENB at Home will also host ballet content beyond the stage, including Le Corsaire and Akram Khan’s Giselle, both of which were recorded specifically for screen, and selections from the archives. There will also be a subscription-based class programme featuring ballet classes, yoga and fitness sessions.

Planned UK premières this autumn of Creature by Akram Khan and Raymonda, choreographed by Tamara Rojo after Marius Petipa, have been postponed. Creature will now have its première in September 2021 at Sadler’s Wells, whilst Raymonda’s première date is to be announced. Plans for English National Ballet’s winter season 2020/2021 will be confirmed in due course.

Patrick Harrison, Executive Director, said, “like so many of our colleagues around the country, we have experienced a devastating effect of the coronavirus crisis on our operations, losing over two-thirds of our income. The continued closure of the theatres in which we perform, cancellations of national and international tours and the ongoing uncertainty about when we may be able to return to full performance or vital commercial activity means we have to scale back our organisation to protect it for the longer term. We continue to create where we can and are investing in the areas which will be key to the post-crisis recovery.

"We have furloughed over 85% of our colleagues through the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and have introduced pay restraint across the organisation, whilst protecting the salaries of lower earners. I want to sincerely thank everyone in the organisation for their ongoing dedication and the sacrifices they are making during this time.

"ENB was successful in its application for a grant from the Arts Council of England’s Emergency Fund, which secures our survival through September. Despite this and in the face of continued uncertainty, we must reduce the scale of our activity and organisation in order to see our way through the current crisis.”

The following company members will leave to "pursue other projects":

  • Francisco Bosch, 8th Year Artist, after 17 years with the Company
  • Fernando Bufala, First Soloist, after 7 years with the Company
  • Barry Drummond, First Artist, after 10 years with the Company
  • Shevelle Dynott, 8th Year Artist, after 15 years with the Company
  • James Forbat, First Soloist, after 15 years with the Company
  • Daniel Kraus, Junior Soloist, after 16 years and 11 months with the Company
  • Adela Ramirez, First Soloist, after 22 years with the Company
  • Maria Jose Sales, 8th Year Artist, after 6 years with the Company
  • Jia Zhang, First Artist, after 11 years with the Company
  • Lead Principal Jurgita Dronina, who previously split her time between ENB and National Ballet of Canada, will not return to ENB next season

ENB also announced the following promotions:

  • Gabriele Francesco Frola has been promoted to Lead Principal
  • Daniel McCormick has been promoted to Soloist
  • Precious Adams, Julia Conway, Anjuli Hudson and Erik Woolhouse have been promoted to Junior Soloist
  • Emily Suzuki has been promoted to 8th Year Artist
  • Matthew Astley, Noam Durand, Rhys Antoni Yeomans, Victor Prigent and Miguel Angel Maidana have been promoted to 6th Year Artist
  • Carolyne Galvao and Rentaro Nakaaki have been promoted to 5th Year Artist