As part of its 70th anniversary season, English National Ballet will celebrate its history with three gala performances at the London Coliseum on 17 and 18 January 2020.
The gala performances celebrate the many dancers, choreographers, artists, musicians, artisans, technicians and audience members who, over the company’s 70 years, have been part of the English National Ballet family. The company members, as well as students from English National Ballet School, will perform a programme that includes some of the most important works from English National Ballet’s diverse repertoire.
Tamara Rojo, the ENB’s Artistic Director, 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.
Dominic Best, who directed BBC documentaries Good Swan, Bad Swan: Dancing Swan Lake and Giselle: Belle of the Ballet, will create a film using archive footage, which will dissolve into live performance on stage.
The programme will feature extracts from masterpieces which have not been recently performed by the company, including George Balanchine’s Apollo, John Cranko’s Onegin, Roland Petit’s Carmen, Léonide Massine’s Farruca (3-Cornered Hat), Christopher Bruce’s Swansong, and Ben Stevenson’s Three Preludes. These will be performed alongside excerpts of some of the company’s modern productions including Dust by Akram Khan, Broken Wings by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Playlist (Track 2) by William Forsythe.
The gala performances conclude with a nod to English National Ballet’s early years, with a performance of one of its signature pieces, Harald Lander’s Etudes, first performed by the company in 1955.
The celebrations will continue as ENB gives away 70 tickets during each run in every city it tours to, distributed to individuals who are making a positive impact in their community.
The 70th Anniversary Gala concludes the winter season at the London Coliseum after the traditional run of Nutcracker performances – an annual event since the company’s inception in 1950.
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.