English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013

English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013 | Danza Ballet 
English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013 | Danza Ballet 

Artistic Director Tamara Rojo Announces English National Ballet New Season

Tamara Rojo, the new Artistic Director of English National Ballet, today announced details of the company’s new season, talked about her vision for the company and introduced her new artistic team.

Speaking of her ambitions for the company Tamara said: “I want to transform English National Ballet into England’s most creative and most loved ballet company, embracing and commissioning brave new works whilst keeping the classics relevant. The English National Ballet will build on its great tradition to nourish artists be they dancers, choreographers, composers, designers or teachers.”

Ecstasy and Death – three 20th Century masterpieces including the company premier of Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort.

  • Nureyev anniversary programme with three of his most important roles
  • Tamara Rojo dances Aurora and the Sugar Plum Fairy
  • George Williamson creates My First Cinderella
  • Loipa Araujo, José Martin & Hua Fang Zhang join the artistic team
  • Emerging Dancer 2013 celebrates rising stars

Speaking of her ambitions for the company Tamara said: “I want to transform English National Ballet into England’s most creative and most loved ballet company, embracing and commissioning brave new works whilst keeping the classics relevant. The English National Ballet will build on its great tradition to nourish artists be they dancers, choreographers, composers, designers or teachers.”

English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013 | Danza Ballet

Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of The English National Ballet, announces the 2012-2013 Season schedule at the Corinthia Hotel London on September 24, 2012 in London, England. (September 23, 2012 – Source: Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe)

As well as her role as Artistic Director, Tamara will continue to dance, and will be seen in the roles of Princess Aurora and the Sugar Plum Fairy in the already announced productions of The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.

John Talbot, Chairman of English National Ballet, said: “We are very excited about Tamara’s vision for the English National Ballet. She has taken over a wonderful company and we are looking forward to her building an international reputation for English National Ballet.”

Looking forward to 2013,Tamara announced two new mixed programmes. Ecstasy and Death comprises contrasting 20th Century ballets of magnificent choreography and deep poetic emotion; Petite Mort, Le Jeune Homme et la Mort and Etudes. In the year which marks the 75th anniversary of his birth and the 20th of his untimely death, A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev, celebrates the legacy of Rudolf Nureyev in a programme which moves from his roots in the 19th Century classics to the contemporary French repertoire.

Supporting Tamara in her new role will be Loipa Araujo as Associate Artistic Director, José Martin as Principal Répétiteur, Hua Fang Zhang as Ballet Mistress and George Williamson as Associate Artist. They will join Répétiteur Antony Dowson and Artistic Co-ordinator Jane Haworth, to make up the new Artistic Team. Speaking of her team Tamara said: “I wanted to make sure that I have the artistic staff who will nurture English National Ballet extraordinarily talented dancers enabling them to develop their potential even further.”

English National Ballet has a long tradition of introducing ballet to new audiences and fostering young talent. Newly appointed Associate Artist George Williamson will create My First Cinderella to give young children their first taste of classical ballet. George will also be responsible for the artistic direction of The Emerging Dancer Award 2013 which will see the company’s brightest young talent compete for the award in a thrilling public performance.

English National Ballet’s Spring Season

Ecstasy and Death
London Coliseum 18-21 April 2013
Petite Mort by Jiří Kylián
Le Jeunne Homme et la Mort by Roland Petit
Etudes by Harald Lander

Jiří Kylián’s landmark ballet Petite Mort enters the company repertoire for the first time in this programme of three contrasting 20th Century ballets of magnificent choreography and deep poetic emotion. Together they will showcase the company’s stylistic versatility, technical brilliance and dramatic flair, drawing on the dancers’ extraordinary physical, emotional and theatrical talents. This will be the first time English National Ballet has performed Petite Mort.

Petite Mort
Jiří Kylián’s beautiful, poetic piece, is a landmark of contemporary choreography and its language has inspired a new generation of choreographers. It features six men, six women, and six fencing foils, symbolising energy, silence and sexuality. The foils become dancing partners in the piece, representing the brutality of everyday life. Choreographed to the slow movements from Mozart’s Piano concertos in A Major and C major, Petite Mort was created in 1991 for the Salzburg Festival to mark the second centenary of Mozart’s death. Jiří Kylián is a Prague-born dancer and choreographer, formally Artistic Director at Netherlands Dans Theatre. Since his first renowned piece Sinfonietta, his work has become part of the repertoire of all major ballet companies throughout the world.

Le Jeune Homme
Le Jeune Homme et la Mort et la Mort is Roland Petit’s choreographic masterpiece. It concerns a faithless woman tormenting her young lover, driving him to despair. It has attracted some of the greatest male dancers, from Nureyev to Baryshnikov. It provides the perfect opportunity for a male dancer to explore the most dramatic of characters as he takes the audience through a journey of destruction and pain led by the ‘femme fatale’ Death. Created in 1946 by choreographer Roland Petit, the ballet was last performed by English National Ballet at the Coliseum in 2011, just days after its creator’s death. Paying tribute to the choreographer, Tamara said: “I had the immense privilege of working with Mr Petit in his Carmen. It was a dream come true and he was every bit as intimidating and demanding as I had imagined. His deep knowledge of the art form combined with a love for showbiz and razzmatazz was a great artistic lesson that I have treasured ever since.” Nicholas le Riche, Étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, will join the company to dance the role of Le Jeune Homme, alternating with Yonah Acosta whose interpretation of the role was acclaimed in 2011.

Etudes is Harald Lander’s glamorous homage to classical ballet training and dance. It requires a corps de ballet with exceptional skills and uses both their artistry and technique to great effect. Etudes showcases the rigorous training a dancer goes through every day to gain strength, agility and speed, and, above all, elegance.

Etudes celebrates the journey from daily ballet class moves and simple stretching at the barre to the full blown virtuosity and bravura of the final performance. Created in 1948, it became a signature piece for English National Ballet following the company’s first performance in 1955. The music is taken from a Carl Czerny study adapted and orchestrated by Knudaage Riisager. Etudes returns to the company’s repertoire after four years, and was last seen at the Royal Festival Hall in 2008.

English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013 | Danza Ballet

A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev – Celebrating the legacy of the great dancer

A Tribute To Rudolf Nureyev
London Coliseum 25-27 July 2013
Petrushka by Michel Fokine
Song of a Wayfarer by Maurice Béjart
Nureyev’s Raymonda Act III by Rudolf Nureyev

2013 marks both the 75th anniversary of the birth of Rudolf Nureyev and the 20th of his untimely death. English National Ballet pays tribute to the legacy of this great artist in a programme of three works he made his own, celebrating his career from his beginnings with 19th Century classical ballet, through his interpretation of a masterpiece of the Ballets Russes, to his embrace of the innovative 20th Century of Maurice Béjart.

Speaking of the Nureyev legacy, Tamara said: “Nureyev is without a doubt the most inspiring figure in the history of male dancing. His defection caused a huge stir, but most importantly he changed for ever the way we viewed the role of the male ballet dancer in the west. His huge legacy left an imprint throughout the classical repertoire and he continues to be an inspiration to the generations of young dancers of today.”

Choreographed by Fokine, with a rousing score by Stravinsky, Petrushka tells the tale of a hopelessly romantic puppet who is trapped in a love triangle. Petrushka is in love with the Ballerina, but she only has eyes for the Moor who returns her affection. The tragic Petrushka suffers from the fact he is no more than a puppet who cannot express his love like a human and dances to his death as he fights against the Moor for his heart’s desire. Petrushka was first performed by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in Paris in 1911 with Nijinsky in the title role. Nureyev first danced Petrushka in 1963, and following his highly acclaimed performance of the lovelorn puppet went on to dance the role throughout his career around the world.

Song of a Wayfarer
Maurice Béjart’s Song of a Wayfarer is one of the most beautiful ballets ever created for the male dancer. The story follows a romantic wayfarer who wanders from town to town looking for freedom but condemned by destiny to a life of eternal unhappiness and loneliness. Béjart created this piece especially for Nureyev believing that it expresses the errant life of the dancer, going from company to company, country to country, condemned never to return to his home land. The ballet is set to Mahler’s first song cycle, four songs with lyrics by the composer.

Raymonda Act III
English National Ballet is delighted to perform Nureyev’s staging of Raymonda for the first time. The original ballet was created by Marius Petipa in 1898 for the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, and the spectacular choreography and magnificent score enticed Nureyev to restage the production himself in1964 in Italy. Having had an intimate knowledge of Raymonda after performing the ballet as a young dancer with the Kirov Ballet, Nureyev revived many of the dances from memory. Nureyev presented an adapted version of Act III of the ballet in 1969 depicting the wedding celebrations of Raymonda and her knight Jean de Brienne, following Jean’s return from the Crusades. Alexander Glazunov’s score for the ballet has been described by George Balanchine who called it “some of the finest ballet music we have.”

English National Ballet encouraging new audiences and young talent:

My First Cinderella
28 March – 26 May
Peacock Theatre, London
Concept and Direction: George Williamson and Loipa Araujo
Choreography George Williamson
Music Sergei Prokofiev
Costume David Walker with additional costumes by Wizzy Shawyer

English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013 | Danza Ballet

My First Cinderella – Introducing the magic of ballet to children from the age of 3

English National Ballet’s Associate Artist, George Williamson will create the latest instalment in the My First ballets, My First Cinderella. This brand new production, of the classic fairy tale, will be brought to life especially for children 3+, giving children their first taste of classical ballet.

This unique collaboration between English National Ballet and English National Ballet School looks to develop the dancers of the future – enabling students to gain vital skills by giving them the experience of working with a professional company. My First Cinderella will also encourage a new, younger audience, inspiring long-term relationships with the art form and developing the audiences of tomorrow. This is Williamson’s second commission from English National Ballet and follows his Firebird which he created in 2012. Williamson is himself a graduate of English National Ballet School and knows all too well the importance of performance for a young dancer’s experience. The My First Cinderella tour will form part of the curriculum and assessment of these final year students.

George Williamson said: “I’m extremely excited about choreographing a brand new Cinderella for the My First series. It is so important to inspire younger audiences and have a specially created balletic world for them to fall in love with. I am also so pleased to be working with dancers from the English National Ballet School, helping them gain an understanding of what goes into being in a professional company. It’s fantastic to be a part of that development.” My First Cinderella is generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

The Emerging Dancer Award 2013
The Emerging Dancer Award is an annual competition for English National Ballet to recognise and nurture the phenomenal talent of its up-and-coming dancers. The Award encourages excellence and potential within the Company. Throughout the Autumn English National Ballet’s Principal dancers and artistic, music and administrative staff vote for their Emerging Dancer and the Company’s brightest talents are shortlisted to compete in a thrilling live final in March 2013. George Williamson will artistically direct the final, which will see one dancer crowned as Emerging Dancer 2013.

The Emerging Dancer and People’s Choice Awards are generously supported by Talbot Hughes MacKillop, the restructuring experts.

Autumn tour, Christmas at the Coliseum and Summer at the Royal Albert Hall

The Sleeping Beauty
Autumn and Spring
17 October – 2 March 2013, National Tour
Tamara Rojo will dance the role of Aurora, with Vadim Muntagirov as her Prince, and Daria Klimentová as the Lilac Fairy. Their first performance will open the season, on 17 October in Milton Keynes. Choreographed by Sir Kenneth MacMillan, with sumptuous costumes by Nicholas Georgiadis The Sleeping Beauty will be performed across the UK this Autumn, before arriving at the London Coliseum in January. Combining grand sets and costumes, Tchaikovsky’s score and displays of virtuosic dancing, The Sleeping Beauty is a dazzling showcase of classical ballet. English National Ballet revived this production of The Sleeping Beauty in 2005, performing it again across the UK and at the Coliseum in 2008. In these two seasons the show was seen by almost 150,000 people. Begoña Cao will dance with Zdenek Konvalina for the first time, and another new partnership will be Cuban rising star Yonah Acosta, with Senior Principal Erina Takahashi. Debuting in the Principal roles will be Bridgette Zehr with Junor Souza, and Ksenia Ovsyanick with Esteban Berlanga. Alison McWhinney, Ksenia Ovsyanick, Brigette Zehr and Jia Zhang will debut as the Lilac Fairy.

English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013 | Danza Ballet

The Nutcracker – The perfect festive family treat!

The Nutcracker, Autumn and Winter
22 – 25 November, Southampton Mayflower
12 December – 5 January 2013, London Coliseum
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas with English National Ballet’s The Nutcracker. The company has performed it every Christmas since 1950. This year sees the return of Wayne Eagling’s version, created in 2010 to celebrate the company’s 60th Birthday. Daria Klimentová and Vadim Muntagirov will dance the lead roles in the opening performance and Tamara Rojo will appear later in the season. Set in a world of frosty Edwardian elegance designed by Peter Farmer, this captivating production takes audiences on an enchanting journey with Clara, her Nutcracker doll and the magician Drosselmeyer. English National Ballet’s dancers bring to life Tchaikovsky’s eternally popular score which features the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Waltz of the Flowers and many other familiar favourites.

The Nutcracker is generously supported by Swarovski, the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Nutcracker Appeal donors.

Swan Lake in-the-round
Royal Albert Hall 2013
12-23 June, 2013
Choreographer – Derek Deane
Raymond Gubbay and the Royal Albert Hall present English National Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall in June, with Derek Deane’s lavish in-the-round production of Swan Lake – the largest production of its kind in the world and London’s dance event of the summer. The show has been a sell out for the last three seasons. This will be the seventh sensational season in which this ballet has been performed in-the-round. Featuring more than 120 dancers on stage, this production has delighted audiences around the world and has been seen by nearly 500,000 people since its premiere in May 1997. Set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, played by an orchestra of more than 80 musicians, this magnificent production features acrobats, jugglers and 60 swans gliding across the arena within the magical splendour of the Royal Albert Hall. Set design is by Peter Farmer and lighting by Howard Harrison.

The New Artistic Team:
At today’s launch, Tamara introduced her new artistic team:

Loipa Araujo – Associate Artistic Director
Loipa was a leading Cuban ballerina – one of the “Four Jewels” of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba – and is now a much sought after teacher in the UK and worldwide. She was Principal with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet de Marseille. Guest performances with Bolshoi Ballet, Maly Theatre, Bulgarian National Opera and Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and Béjart Ballet, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Tamara described Loipa as “one of the most inspiring coaches I have ever worked with. Her immense knowledge of classical technique and her wide experience of different repertoires, styles and choreographers, make her the perfect person work alongside me.”

José Martin – Principal Répétiteur
José studied ballet in Spain at the school of Victor Ullate before gaining a scholarship to the American School of Ballet. He joined the San Francisco ballet where he became a soloist, moving to Zürich Ballet, English National Ballet and Boston Ballet, before joining The Royal Ballet as First Soloist in 2002 until his retirement in 2012. His wide experience as ballet master includes work at the national Cuban ballet school, the Mariinsky. Teatre Colon in Buenos Aires, Julio Bocca’s Ballet Sodre Uruguay, Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet. He spent two months this year as acting artistic director at the Teatro Colon.

Tamara said of José: “He has been gaining an extraordinary reputation as a répétiteur over the last few years. His attention to detail and his perfectionism combined with approachability, make him the ideal choice for the role.”

English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013 | Danza Ballet

(L-R) Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of The English National Ballet, Loipa Araujo, Jose Martin, Hua Fang Zhang and George Williamson of the English National Ballet announce their 2012-2013 Season schedule at the Corinthia Hotel London on September 24, 2012 in London, England. (September 23, 2012 – Source: Ian Gavan/Getty Images Europe)

Hua Fang Zhang – Ballet Mistress

Hua Fang, from China, was a Principal dancer Hong Kong Ballet; First Soloist National Ballet of China, Beijing; Guest performer Singapore Dance Theatre, Singapore; Ballet Mistress, National Ballet of China, Beijing; Ballet Mistress, LaLala Human Steps, Montreal, Canada; First International Dance Festival Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Second International Dance Festival Miami, Florida; Ballet Mistress, Ballet Jazz, Montreal, Canada. Tamara, who first met Hua Fang in China, said of her: “She was working for the National Ballet of China where she made the corps de ballet into one of the most impressive I have ever seen.”

George Williamson – Associate Artist
George Williamson is a young British choreographer and graduate of English National Ballet School. George’s first major commission was Firebird for English National Ballet. This is a new role within English National Ballet and aims to nurture young talent with great potential. George will also work with arts organisations to build collaborative projects, and bring the work of English National Ballet to communities across the UK, particularly to the touring venues. He will oversee the choreographic competition, which is a yearly event for the Company, as well as the Emerging Dancer Competition.

Tamara said: “George’s first choreographic piece for the company was very impressive. He is an artist of ideas and great vision with the energy and personality to carry them through. In this new role he will explore collaborations with young artists, nurture choreographers within the company and help us deepen our engagement with the cities we visit, working with local artists, musicians and students in venues not normally associated with ballet.”

English National Ballet’s Spring Season 2012/2013 | Danza Ballet

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