Lest We Forget

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*****“amazing"
Sunday Express

**** “a brave and brilliant move from director Tamara Rojo”
Evening Standard

**** “make this absolutely an evening to catch if you can”
The Arts Desk

English National Ballet’s first ever season at the Barbican Theatre, opens on Wednesday 2 April with Lest We Forget, a new programme of works marking the centenary of the First World War – and promises to be a landmark for the company. Choreographers Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant are both collaborating with a classical ballet company for the first time – and it has been announced that Artistic Director Tamara Rojo will be performing with Akram Khan on the opening night, as well as the matinee and evening shows on 3 April and the final show on 12 April. 

Khan’s work Dust is about the empowerment of women in the war, especially as they became the main workforce in the country. “The piece is inspired by two things” he said. “First, the concept of a trench, of the young men and old men all going into trenches, and disappearing. The other substantial part was inspired by the women. In WW1 there was a huge social shift towards women. They needed weapons made for the war, they needed a huge workforce. I felt this shift in role was interesting. They knew they would be letting go of fathers, husbands, and sons; they might lose them. Yet they were making weapons that would kill others’ fathers, husbands, and sons. It didn’t matter which side you were on – they both felt loss and death. But in order for someone to live someone else was putting their life on the line. That cyclical thing was what I wanted to explore.”

Maliphant’s Second Breath is about the men and the sacrifice of the men. Principal couples include Alina Cojocaru with Junor Souza (2, 3 (eve) & 5 April) and Tamarin Stott with Nathan Young. With ENB he has 20 dancers – the most he’s ever worked with. “The challenge is having a reason to use them all. There is a sense that you need a lot of people, somehow, for the subject – even if you use just two, you know it’s a reference to thousands, millions.”

Royal Ballet Artist in Residence Liam Scarlett’s No Man’s Land is about the relationship between men and the women they leave behind, the loss and longing. Casting includes Tamara Rojo and Esteban Berlanga; Alina Cojocaru and Zdenek Konvalina, Ksenia Ovsyanick and Laurent Liotardo, Angela Wood and Fabian Reimair. Erina Takahashi and James Forbat, Fernanda Oliveira and Max Westwell will perform on 2, 3 (eve) & 5 (eve) April. “It’s paying respect to how much people went through” he said. “What I’m interested in really is that when the men went off, the women almost took over their roles. And you get these objects that pass between them… a loved one went off to war, but the women were in factories making ammunition, packing explosive into ammunition to be shipped out to them, or making uniforms. In a curious way those objects were the only contact between them. It’s a very lonesome, powerful image. We triumphed and we came through, but it was an intensely sad period.”

Tamara Rojo said: “I need the public to see the choreographers of today, and how this company can embrace this new modern language, without threatening what you know of them,” she says. “At the Barbican audiences are very much accustomed to go outside their comfort zone, and I hope we will all be challenged. This subject is so serious that all of these choreographers are treading very reflectively with it. You will see from each of them a different path.”

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Russell Maliphant: Second Breath
Choreographer: Russell Maliphant
Lighting Designer: Michael Hulls
Composer: Andy Cowton
Orchestrator: Ben Foskett
Costume Designer: Stevie Stewart
Collaborative Assistant: Dana Fouras
Assistant: Carys Staton

Liam Scarlett: No Man's Land
Choreographer: Liam Scarlett
Music/Composer: Excerpts from Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses by Franz Liszt, arranged and orchestrated by Gavin Sutherland
Designs; Jon Bausor
Lighting Designer: Paul Keogan

Akram Khan: Dust
Choreographer: Akram Khan
Composer: Jocelyn Pook
Dramturg; Ruth Little
Costume Design: Kimie Nakano
Lighting Design: Fabiana Piccioli
Set Design: Sander Loonen
Rehearsal Director: Jose Agudo and Andrej Petrovic

George Williamson – Firebird
Choreographer: George Williamson
Music /Composer: Firebird 1945 Suite by Igor Stravinsky
Costume Design: David Bamber
Lighting Design: Paul Keogan
Set Design: David Bamber and George Williamson in collaboration with John Campbell Scenic Studio

GEORGE WILLIAMSON [CHOREOGRAPHER]

Read Biography

AKRAM KHAN [CHOREOGRAPHER]

"Akram is the king of contemporary dance’’ BBC News

Birthplace
London, UK 

Training
De Montfort University and Performing Arts at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Affiliations include
National Ballet of China; collaborations with actress Juliette Binoche, ballerina Sylvie Guillem; choreographer/dancer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; singer Kylie Minogue; visual artists Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tim Yip; writer Hanif Kureishi; composers Steve Reich, Nitin Sawhney, Jocelyn Pook and Ben Frost. His creation for the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was received with unanimous acclaim 

Works created include
DESH, iTMOi, Vertical Road, Gnosis and zero degrees 

Other info
An Associate Artist of MC2: Grenoble and Sadler’s Wells and the recipient of numerous awards including the Laurence Olivier Award, the prestigious ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) Distinguished Artist Award, South Bank Sky Arts Award and several Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. Awarded an MBE for services to dance in 2005, an Honorary Graduate of Roehampton and De Montford Universities and an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban

RUSSELL MALIPHANT [CHOREOGRAPHER]

“Russell Maliphant is now Britain’s leading modern dance creator” Daily Express 

Birthplace
Ottawa, Canada 

Training
Royal Ballet School 

Affiliations
Birmingham Royal Ballet, DV8 Physical Theatre, Michael Clark & Company 

Created work for
Sylvie Guillem, Robert Lepage, Isaac Julian, BalletBoyz, Bayerisches Staatsballet and Lyon Opera Ballet 

Other info
Formed Russell Maliphant Company in 1996 after various independent studies in anatomy, physiology and biomechanics, qualifying as a practitioner of the Rolfing Method of Structural Integration (or Rolfing®) in 1994. Awards include the Time Out Live Award for Choice; Olivier Award for Broken Fall with Sylvie Guillem, Michael Nunn and William Trevitt premiered at the Royal Opera House for Best New Dance Production. 2004 received the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography for Rise and FallSouth Bank Show Award and Olivier Award for Push in 2006, 2010 the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Modern Choreography and an Olivier nomination for Afterlight part 1 at Sadler’s Wells, In the Spirit of Diaghilev in celebration of the centennial of the Ballets Russes. His most recent work, Fallen was created for the BalletBoyz winning the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Modern Choreography 2013. 

An Associate Artist of Sadler’s Wells since 2005 and awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from Plymouth University in 2011 

LIAM SCARLETT [CHOREOGRAPHER]

‘’Dance's hottest property’’ The Independent

Birthplace
Ipswich, UK 

Training
Linda Shipton School of Dancing, Royal Ballet Lower and Upper Schools 

Affiliations include
The Royal Ballet promoted to First Artist in 2008, in 2012 retired from the stage and was appointed Artist in Residence. New York Choreographic Institute; Miami City Ballet; BalletBoyz; K-Ballet; Norwegian National Ballet and New York City Ballet 

Works created include
Monochromatic; Allegro de Jeunesse; Gargoyles; Despite; Vayamos al Diablo; Of Mozart; Consolations and Liebestraum; Asphodel Meadows; Sweet VioletsDiana and Actaeon(Metamorphosis: Titan 2012); Viscera; Euphotic; Serpent; Firebird; Vespertine and Acheron 

Other info
Twice nominated for a Critics’ Circle Dance Award for Best Choreography for Of Mozart; Consolations and Liebestraum. Appeared on the panel of judges at the first Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition 2011. Choreographed for male and female competitors at the RAD’s Genée International Ballet Competition. Nominations include Time out London and The Hospital Club’s Top 100 in 2012 of the most influential people in the arts. Asphodel Meadows nomination for both a South Bank and Olivier and winner of the Critics’ Circle Award followed by Sweet Violets (2012) and ‘Diana and Actaeon’ (Metamorphosis: Titan 2012). Future commissions include San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

Casting is subject to change. We will endeavour to give as much notice as possible via our website and social media.

9 Apr 2014

- Hide Casting

No Man's Land

Alina Cojocaru Lead Principal

Zdenek Konvalina Lead Principal

Erina Takahashi Lead Principal

James Forbat First Soloist

Fernanda Oliveira Lead Principal

Max Westwell Junior Soloist

Firebird

Laurretta Summerscales First Soloist Firebird

James Forbat First Soloist Peacock

Anjuli Hudson Artist of the Company Purity

Senri Kou Junior Soloist Celebrity

Max Westwell Junior Soloist Captain

Second Breath

Alina Cojocaru Lead Principal

Junor Souza First Soloist

Dust

Tamara Rojo Lead Principal

James Streeter Junior Soloist

Fabian Reimair First Soloist

10 Apr 2014

- Hide Casting

No Man's Land

Alina Cojocaru Lead Principal

Zdenek Konvalina Lead Principal

Erina Takahashi Lead Principal

James Forbat First Soloist

Fernanda Oliveira Lead Principal

Max Westwell Junior Soloist

Firebird

Ksenia Ovsyanick Soloist Firebird

Zdenek Konvalina Lead Principal Peacock

Begoña Cao Principal Purity

Junor Souza First Soloist Captain

Second Breath

Alina Cojocaru Lead Principal

Junor Souza First Soloist

Dust

Fernanda Oliveira Lead Principal

James Streeter Junior Soloist

Fabian Reimair First Soloist

11 Apr 2014

- Hide Casting

No Man's Land

Tamara Rojo Lead Principal

Esteban Berlanga Guest Artist

Angela Wood Artist of the Company

Fabian Reimair First Soloist

Laurent Liotardo Junior Soloist

Firebird

Ksenia Ovsyanick Soloist Firebird

Zdenek Konvalina Lead Principal Peacock

Begoña Cao Principal Purity

Junor Souza First Soloist Captain

Second Breath

Tamarin Stott First Artist

Nathan Young Artist of the Company

Dust

Tamara Rojo Lead Principal

James Streeter Junior Soloist

Fabian Reimair First Soloist

12 Apr 2014 [Matinee]

- Hide Casting

No Man's Land

Tamara Rojo Lead Principal

Esteban Berlanga Guest Artist

Angela Wood Artist of the Company

Fabian Reimair First Soloist

Laurent Liotardo Junior Soloist

Firebird

Laurretta Summerscales First Soloist Firebird

James Forbat First Soloist Peacock

Anjuli Hudson Artist of the Company Purity

Senri Kou Junior Soloist Celebrity

Max Westwell Junior Soloist Captain

Second Breath

Anjuli Hudson Artist of the Company

Joshua McSherry-Gray Artist of the Company

Dust

Fernanda Oliveira Lead Principal

James Streeter Junior Soloist

Fabian Reimair First Soloist

12 Apr 2014

- Hide Casting

No Man's Land

Tamara Rojo Lead Principal

Esteban Berlanga Guest Artist

Angela Wood Artist of the Company

Fabian Reimair First Soloist

Laurent Liotardo Junior Soloist

Firebird

Ksenia Ovsyanick Soloist Firebird

Zdenek Konvalina Lead Principal Peacock

Begoña Cao Principal Purity

Junor Souza First Soloist Captain

Second Breath

Tamarin Stott First Artist

Nathan Young Artist of the Company

Dust

Tamara Rojo Lead Principal

Akram Khan Guest Artist

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