Marking its first live performances to theatre audiences for over a year, English National Ballet returns to the stage on Monday 17 May with Reunion at Sadler's Wells, London.
Reunion sees ENB present five original works by renowned choreographers and rising talents. These works were created and released as films during the company's Digital Season in late 2020, and now they will be performed live on stage for the first time.
Tamara Rojo, ENB's Artistic Director, said:
After over a year without performing in theatres, I am thrilled that English National Ballet is going to be back on stage. We created these five exciting pieces during the second lockdown last year, working in small bubbles in our studios – I can't wait to share them with live audiences for the first time.
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui reimagines Laid in Earth as 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 composed by Olga Wojciechowska.
In Echoes, Russell Maliphant creates ever-shifting choreography and uses light as an integral partner in the creative process. Collaborating with video artist Panagiotis Tomaras and with sound design by Dana Fouras, the result is mesmerising.
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 set to Shostakovich's Piano Trio No1.
In creating Take Five Blues, ENB Associate Choreographer Stina Quagebeur was inspired by Nigel Kennedy's take on Bach's Vivace and Desmond's Take Five, and the way in which contemporary jazz and classical music are uniquely married together. Her eight dancers play with the unexpected melodies and rhythms, feeding off each other's energy in this high-spirited number that pushes past classical ballet's rules and boundaries.
Arielle Smith's Jolly Folly is fast-paced, surprising, and full of uncontainable energy. The old movie musical inspired piece is driven by the Klazz Brothers' latin-infused covers of Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Mozart.
The music for Laid in Earth and Senseless Kindness will be performed live by musicians of English National Ballet Philharmonic.
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.