As part of English National Ballet’s 2014 Spring-Summer season, Akram Khan, Russell Maliphant and Liam Scarlett will all create new works for English National Ballet as part of a programme of dance inspired by the centenary of the Great War. The three pieces, part of a programme of British choreography titled “Lest We Forget,” will be accompanied by a reworking of “Firebird” by George Williamson and will be performed at the Barbican in April 2014. This is the first time that the Company has performed at the theatre.
Announcing the commissions, ENB Artistic Director Tamara Rojo said she was thrilled that the three have agreed to create works for the Company. “I wanted an evening of British work and the Great War still has such resonance in British culture and society that the occasion of the centenary was an obvious inspiration,” she added.
Akram Khan commented that he had been waiting for some time for the right moment to work with a ballet company, and explore, investigate and discover new directions with his choreography. He has invited Kimie Nakamo (costume), Fabiana Piccioli (lighting), Jocelyn Pook (composer), Ruth Little (dramaturge), and Jose Agudo (rehearsal director) to collaborate with him.
Russell Maliphant expressed how much he was looking forward to getting started on his piece. He explained, “Work for me begins with a meeting point of myself, music and dancers in the studio. I always search to draw out unique qualities specific to each dancer and utilise those in the emerging work. For this piece we will use a contemporary personal version of classical language.”
Rojo also announced that she and Carlo Acosta, will again partner each other when they dance the lead roles in Derek Deane’s “Romeo & Juliet” in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall in June 2014. In July 2014, the company returns to the London Coliseum with Ronald Hynd’s production of the perennially popular “Coppélia.”
For full details of the season, including the autumn and Christmas productions of “Le Corsaire” and “The Nutcracker”, see www.ballet.org.uk