ENB: new season updates

Published: 5 August 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber

Tamara Rojo in Raymonda rehearsal Credit: Laurent Liotardo
Akram Khan and Jeffrey Cirio rehearse Creature Credit: Laurent Liotardo

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's Emerging Dancer: A Celebration is a special event featuring performances from previous winners that will be live-streamed on YouTube and the ENB at Home platform on 2 September 2021.

Recipients of the 2020 Emerging Dancer Award, Ivana Bueno, and People’s Choice award, Victor Prigent, will perform an extract from La Sylphide. Winner of 2017’s Emerging Dancer Award, Rina Kanehara, will perform with winner of the People’s Choice Award in 2017 and the Corps de Ballet Award in 2018 Georgia Bould and 2018’s People’s Choice Award winner, Alice Bellini, in a new work for three dancers by Nikita Goile.

Alison McWhinney and Junor Souza, 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) will perform a Grand pas Classique. Mlindi Kulashe will create 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.

Lead Principal Erina Takahashi celebrates 25 years with ENB, joining the company in 1996, with a promotion to Principal in 2000 and then Lead Principal in 2007. She will perform the role of Marie in upcoming performances of Creature by Akram Khan and as Clara / Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker this Christmas.

ENB Artistic Director Tamara Rojo said, “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.”

At the start of the 2021-2022 season Ashley Coupal and Shunhei Fuchiyama will become Artists of the Company, international ballet star Maria Kochetkova returns as a Lead Principal, Hua Fang Zhang returns as Guest Rehearsal Mistress, Junior Soloist Senri Kou leaves after 16 years to pursue a teaching career and Ballet Mistress Mayumi Ganley leaves to pursue other projects.

The world première of Creature by Akram Khan, a tale inspired by Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck with shadows of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, will take place at Sadler’s Wells from 23 September to 2 October 2021.

The Company returns to the London Coliseum with its annual Christmas production Nutcracker (16 December 2021 to 8 January 2022) and the world première of Tamara Rojo’s adaptation of Raymonda (13–23 January 2022).