From 12 – 21 April 2018, English National Ballet will present the world premiere of a new work by one of the most revered choreographers working today, William Forsythe, his first creation for a UK ballet company in over 20 years.
Forsythe’s new work will be presented at Sadler’s Wells as part of Voices of America, a new mixed bill dedicated to neo-classical ballet with an American accent, featuring works with audacious attitude from three generations of choreographers.
Alongside his new work, English National Ballet will also perform Forsythe’s Approximate Sonata 2016. Originally created in 1996, Forsythe recently reworked this piece for Paris Opera Ballet. A series of pas de deux that deconstruct the classical ballet vocabulary, Approximate Sonata 2016 is accompanied by a new version of the original score by Thom Willems.
For a while now I have wanted to dedicate a programme to the abstract, neoclassical style of ballet that is born out of America – says Tamara Rojo. It gives me great pleasure to now be doing so with a new work created especially for us by the genius that is William Forsythe.
Voices of America sees another work new to English National Ballet, Jerome Robbins’ The Cage. One of Robbins’ most shocking and intense ballets, The Cage looks at the rites and rituals of a species where the female considers the male to be prey, featuring 14 female and two male dancers. Originally created in 1951, The Cage is set to Stravinsky’s Concerto in D for String Orchestra, performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Performed as part of the Jerome Robbins Centennial Celebrations, a global celebration of the 100th birthday of Jerome Robbins.
Completing the mixed bill is a reworked version of Aszure Barton’s Fantastic Beings. Originally created as part of English National Ballet’s She Said programme in 2016, Fantastic Beings is a mysterious, magnetic work that sees 16 dancers take to the stage, accompanied by Mason Bates’ dynamic score performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic.
I am excited that these Forsythe works will be accompanied by Jerome Robbins’ brilliantly shocking ballet The Cage, and a revival of Aszure Barton’s fabulous Fantastic Beings. I cannot wait for audiences to experience the power and emotion of these ballets next spring.
Behind the scenes of English National Ballet’s photoshoot for Voices of America with Lead Principal Aaron Robison and photographer Jason Bell.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.