English National Ballet’s 2017-8 autumn winter season sees the company dance Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s masterpiece, Song of the Earth, and give a UK-premiere to Frank Andersen’s La Sylphide, with performances on tour and at the London Coliseum.
First performed in 1965, MacMillan’s choreography for Song of the Earth was starkly different to anything he previously created. Featuring three central figures, a Woman, a Man, and a Messenger, this powerful, moving exploration of life, death, and renewal is set to Mahler’s song cycle, Das Liede von der Erde, performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. These performances of Song of the Earth coincide with the 25th anniversary of MacMillan’s death.
Artistic director of ENB, Tamara Rojo says, “Song of the Earth is a great example of MacMillan’s choreographic style. Influenced by the original Chinese poems that Mahler used to create the score, we can see how MacMillan used these delicate movements to form part of the dramatic choreography. This incredibly moving work is a wonderful vehicle for the extremely talented dancers in the company, and I can’t wait for our audiences to see them perform it next season.”
In early 2018, La Sylphide will be paired with Roland Petit’s Le Jeune Homme et la Mort at the London Coliseum.
Akram Khan’s reimagined Giselle returns in the autumn at Sadler’s Wells and the Liverpool Empire Theatre.
Following summer performances at the Royal Festival Hall, Rudolf Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet continues with performances at the Bristol Hippodrome. These performances mark the 40th anniversary of the production, which was originally created for English National Ballet in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.
Remarkably, ENB has presented a Nutcracker production each year since 1950. The tradition continues with the return of Wayne Eagling’s version, with performances at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton before returning to the London Coliseum.
Akram Khan’s Giselle
Sadler’s Wells; September 20-23
Liverpool Empire; October 25-28
Song of the Earth / La Sylphide
Manchester Palace Theatre; October 11-14
Milton Keynes Theatre; October 17-21
London Coliseum; January 9-13, 2018
Romeo & Juliet
Bristol Hippodrome; November 21-25
Mayflower Theatre; Southampton, November 29-December 2
London Coliseum; December 13-January 6, 2018
Le Jeune Homme et la Mort / La Sylphide
London Coliseum; January 16-20, 2018
For more details of each production and links to theatre booking sites, visit www.ballet.org.uk. Tickets go on sale to Friends of English National Ballet at 10am, Friday 10 March. General on sale starts 10am, Monday 13 March