Tamara Rojo and Akram Khan in 'Dust'.  Photo © ASH

Tamara Rojo and Akram Khan in ‘Dust’.
Photo © ASH

David Mead

English National Ballet, which recently picked up the Outstanding Company award at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, has announced its 2015/2016 season.

In a season that includes the “Lest We Forget” triple bill on tour, the return of Le Corsaire (to be released on DVD in March 2015) and Rudolf Nureyev’s “Romeo and Juliet”, the headline programme looks to be “She Said”, triple bill of new female choreography at Sadler’s Wells, featuring world premieres from Aszure Barton, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Yabin Wang.

Of “She Said”, Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of English National Ballet says, “I have wanted to present an evening dedicated to female choreographers for some time now, and I am thrilled to be working with these incredibly talented women, who are some of the most exciting creative voices working in dance today.”

Barton has worked with a number of well-known companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Sydney Dance Company. Lopez Ochoa is well-known to British audiences, her “A Streetcar Named Desire” for Scottish Ballet picking up the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Best New Production, the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Best Classical Choreography, and was nominated for an Olivier Award. Wang is a young Chinese dancer and choreographer with her own ensemble, Yabin & Her Friends, in Beijing. She has also worked with some well-known names, including Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Taking triple bills on tour is a welcome move, although it will be interesting to see if “Lest We Forget” is supported in the regions as well as are the usual full-length ballets. It deserves to be; it is an excellent  programme. Originally commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, it includes Akram Khan’s “Dust”, winner of Best Modern Choreography at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards, which looks at the empowerment of women in war and how women became the main workforce in the country; Russell Maliphant’s “Second Breath”, about the sacrifice of men in war; and “No Man’s Land” by Liam Scarlett, which explores relationships in war and the loss and longing felt by women left behind by their partners.

The company also plans to increase its international touring next season, with performances in Madrid and Barcelona. Upon invitation from the Paris Opera Ballet, it will also take “Le Corsaire” to the Palais Garnier in June 2016.

(left to right) Junor Souza, Erina Takahashi, Alina Cojacaru and Vadim Muntagirov in English National Ballet's 'Le Corsaire'.  Photo: ©Arnaud Stephenson

(left to right) Junor Souza, Erina Takahashi, Alina Cojacaru and Vadim Muntagirov in English National Ballet’s ‘Le Corsaire’.
Photo: ©Arnaud Stephenson

Full details of the 15/16 season:

Lest We Forget

Sadler’s Wells, London, 8-12 September 2015
Milton Keynes Theatre, 20 October 2015
Palace Theatre, Manchester, 24 November 2015

Romeo & Juliet

Bristol Hippodrome, 14-17 October 2015
Milton Keynes Theatre, 22-24 October 2015
The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton 28-31 October 2015
Palace Theatre, Manchester, 26-28 November 2015

Le Corsaire

Liverpool Empire, 18-21 November 2015
London Coliseum 13-24 January 2016

Nutcracker

London Coliseum, 16 December 2015 – 10 January 2016

Emerging Dancer

Venue tba, 14 March 2016

My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty

Peacock Theatre, London, 24 March – 3 April 2016
The Orchard, Dartford, 16-17 April 2016
New Theatre, Oxford, 30 April – 1 May 2016
Bristol Hippodrome, 21 – 22 May 2016
New Victoria Theatre, Woking, 28 – 29 May 2016

More venues and dates to be announced

She Said

Sadler’s Wells, London, 12-17 April 2016

Swan Lake in-the-round

Royal Albert Hall, 1-12 June 2016