English National Ballet's on-demand video platform, ENB at Home, launches today. It offers two services, Ballet on Demand which features ballet productions available to rent for 72 hour periods; and BalletActive, which offers a variety of ballet-based classes, available by subscription.
Ballet on Demand
In November and December, Ballet on Demand will play host to the world premieres of five pieces created for English National Ballet's new digital season. Filmmaker Amy Becker-Burnett has worked with choreographer Arielle Smith to create the energetic, old movie musical inspired, Jolly Folly; Shaun James Grant has collaborated with Stina Quagebeur on Take Five Blues, a response to Bach's Vivace and Paul Desmond's jazz standard, Take Five; Michael Nunn and William Trevitt have teamed up with Russell Maliphant on a piece which uses light as an integral partner; and Thomas James has worked on the creation of two films, Laid in Earth which sees a ‘torn apart' quartet from choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Senseless Kindness choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and based on Vasily Grossman's great novel, Life and Fate.
ENB's Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo, said,
Amongst the challenges of 2020, we have been able to find opportunity for creation and collaboration. It's been fascinating to see these filmmakers and choreographers work together, sharing their talent and blending their artistry, in the creation of five very diverse and beautiful films.
Available now on Ballet on Demand are Akram Khan's Giselle and Le Corsaire, as well as selections from the company's archives including Khan's reflection on the First World War, Dust, and one of the jewels of Romantic ballet, La Sylphide. ENB will announce additional titles shortly.
Building on the series of classes which ENB made during lockdown, BalletActive gives the opportunity to actively engage with ballet-based exercise from home with a monthly or annual subscription-based class programme.
A wide variety of classes for a range of levels will include masterclasses from members of ENB's artistic team, Renato Paroni de Castro and Mayumi Ganley; professional-level classes from Tamara Rojo; yoga sessions to complement ballet practice; exercises designed especially for small spaces, contemporary dance for beginners, and more. The first series of classes are released today and further classes will be added over the coming months.
With the Government's announcement that England is to enter a second lockdown, English National Ballet's return to the stage has been postponed. The five pieces that feature in the digital season had been adapted for live on-stage performances for socially distanced audiences at Sadler's Wells, London, later this month. Sadly, these shows, Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet, are not able to go ahead.
Photo:Tamara Rojo and James Streeter in Akram Khan's Giselle © 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.