English National Ballet returns to the stage with performances of Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum this Christmas from 3 December 2020 until 3 January 2021.
ENB is determined that the annual festive appointment in its calendar will not be skipped this year, even though many companies worldwide have been forced to cancel their moneymaking Nutcracker season. ENB will offer a new version of the ballet with a selection of Nutcracker's most popular moments with Tchaikovsky's played live by musicians from English National Ballet Philharmonic. The performance will run for approximately 75 minutes with no interval.
Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet's Artistic Director, said,
English National Ballet has performed a version of The Nutcracker every year since we were founded in 1950 and I'm so pleased that, despite the challenges faced, we have been able to find a way for the tradition to live on, in this, our 70th Anniversary year. It's more important than ever that we are able to bring audiences some festive joy this Christmas.
After what will be nearly nine months without performing in theatres, I am thrilled that English National Ballet is going to be back on stage with a live audience this winter. It's been wonderful to see our studios back in action for the creation of these five exciting new works, and we can't wait to share them with our audiences.
The previously announced, Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet at Sadler's Wells in November sees the company present five world premieres. They are new commissions, created for camera as part of English National Ballet's upcoming digital season and now also adapted for the stage. The new works are choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Yuri Possokhov, Arielle Smith, and Stina Quagebeur.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Laid in Earth is a “torn apart” quartet. It is set to Purcell's aria from Dido and Aeneas – sung live by mezzo-soprano Flora McIntosh – as well as new electronic music by Olga Wojciechowska.
Russell Maliphant creates ever-shifting choreography and uses light as an integral partner in the creative process. He collaborates on this project with video artist Panagiotis Tomaras and with commissioned sound design by Dana Fouras.
A former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, choreographer Yuri Possokhov works with a UK company for the first time. His piece for four dancers, Senseless Kindness, is based on Vasily Grossman's novel, Life and Fate, about a Russian family caught in the Second World War and is set to Shostakovich's Piano Trio No1.
In Take Five Blues, ENB's Associate Choreographer, Stina Quagebeur, responds to two of her favourite pieces of music, Bach's Vivace and Paul Desmond's jazz standard, Take Five.
Arielle Smith's Jolly Folly is fast-paced, surprising, and energetic and is driven by the Klazz Brothers' latin-infused covers of Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Mozart.
The music for Laid in Earth, Take Five Blues and Senseless Kindness will be performed live by musicians of English National Ballet Philharmonic.
The world premieres of Creature by Akram Khan and Raymonda by Tamara Rojo after Marius Petipa have been postponed to 2021.
From top: Francesco Gabriele Frola in Nutcracker – Ken Saruhashi in the Russian dance © Laurent Liotardo
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.