ENB celebrates 70th anniversary

Published: 14 November 2019
Reporter: Vera Liber

As part of its 70th anniversary season, English National Ballet will celebrate its history with three performances at the London Coliseum on 17 and 18 January 2020.

The gala performances will begin with a blend of film and performance. Using archive footage, Dominic Best, who directed BBC documentaries Good Swan, Bad Swan: Dancing Swan Lake and Giselle: Belle of the Ballet, will create a film which will dissolve into live performance on stage with extracts from the following works: Apollo (George Balanchine), Who Cares? (George Balanchine), La Sylphide (August Bournonville), Swansong (Christopher Bruce), Strictly Gershwin (Derek Deane), Playlist (Track 2) (William Forsythe), Coppélia (Ronald Hynd), Dust (Akram Khan), Giselle (Akram Khan), Broken Wings (Annabelle Lopez Ochoa), The Sleeping Beauty (Kenneth MacMillan), Romeo & Juliet (Rudolf Nureyev), Carmen (Roland Petit) and Three Preludes (Ben Stevenson).

The gala performances conclude with a nod to ENB’s early years, with a performance of one if its signature pieces, Etudes by Harald Lander, first performed by the Company in 1955. International dance star Sergio Bernal will be guest artist for the galas, performing Farruca (Three-Cornered Hat). ENBYouthCo will also perform a short piece choreographed by Creative Director, Richard Bermange.

Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director of ENB, said, “our 70th Anniversary Gala performances are a rare opportunity to showcase in one place a huge variety of brilliant work from our extraordinarily rich history. This will be a Gala that celebrates the sheer love of dance, both on and off the stage, that has been part of our vision from the beginning. Throughout the three performances, we will be bringing together as many people as possible from the English National Ballet family, on stage and in the audience, to celebrate and give thanks for the generosity of all who make this the very special company it is. Alongside the Gala, we want to make sure we thank our audiences and partners throughout the season and will do so in a variety of creative ways.”

Throughout its 70th anniversary season, ENB will give away 70 free tickets in each UK city to which it tours for people making a positive impact in their communities. Recipients have so far included staff and volunteers from Lifeshare, who support homeless and vulnerable people in Greater Manchester, Talbot House, which supports parents and carers of people who have learning disabilities, The NHS Young Oncology Unit at Christie’s Hospital and Scratch, which works to combat poverty in the Southampton area. For its gala performances, the public can nominate people whom they’d like to recognise as creating positive contributions to their communities.