Image: © Laurent Liotardo

Read more about our plans for Winter 2020, plus further Company updates

Our return to the stage

Whilst planned performances of Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet are unable to go ahead due to the November lockdown in England, we are looking forward to performing Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum.

Nutcracker Delights will now open on 17 December 2020 and run until 3 January 2021. Priority booking opens to Friends of English National Ballet on 10 November 2020 at 10am. Tickets go on general sale on Friday 13 November 2020 at 10am.

Performing in the iconic roles of Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy will be Lead Principals Erina Takahashi and Fernanda Oliveira; Principals Shiori Kase and Natascha Mair; and First Soloists Emma Hawes and Katja Khaniukova.

Lead Principals Joseph Caley, Jeffrey Cirio, Isaac Hernández and Francesco Gabriele Frola will perform the role of the Prince, whilst First Soloist Junor Souza will dance both the Prince and Nutcracker. First Soloist Aitor Arrieta, Soloist Skyler Martin and Artist of the Company Fernando Carratalá Coloma dance the role of Nutcracker.

Nightly casting to be announced soon.

Company updates

Ahead of these performances, new dancers are welcomed into the Company.

Natascha Mair joins as a Principal. Mair previously performed with Vienna State Opera Ballet (Wiener Staatsballett) where she rose through the ranks to Principal. She has danced with many companies around the world as a Guest Artist, including Slovenian National Ballet where she is a Guest Principal Dancer.

Natascha has received numerous awards including First Prize at Premio Roma Danza (2012), Special Prize at the International Contest of Ballet Schools in Bejing (2012) and the Sponsorship Award of the Ballett Club Wiener Staatsoper & Volksoper (2014).

On joining the Company, Natascha Mair said: “I am excited for my new journey with English National Ballet and moving to this incredible city which has so many different people and cultures for me to learn from. I never want to stop growing as a person and artist and I feel like English National Ballet is the perfect place for me to do so.”

Matei Hadrian Holeleu joins as a 1st Year Artist of the Company following his success at the 2020 Prix de Lausanne competition. Holeleu trained at Ballettschule Theater Basel, Switzerland and Octavian Stroia Highschool of Choreography and Drama, Romania.

Eric Snyder joins as an Artist (Extra) from English National Ballet School. He has previously performed with us in our 70th Anniversary Gala, Nutcracker, Cinderella and My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty.

English National Ballet’s Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo CBE said: “I’m so pleased to be able to welcome Natascha, Matei and Eric to the Company as we prepare to return to live performances soon, and I can’t wait to see them develop their artistry with ENB.”

English National Ballet also welcomes new members to its Board of Trustees: Marilyn Berk, Lady Debbie Buffini, Kamara Gray, Chris Marks, Paul Pacifico and Dr. Shirley J. Thompson OBE.

Today, we also announce that Lead Principal Alina Cojocaru will be leaving the company as her contract with us comes to an end.

Cojocaru joined English National Ballet in 2013 as a Lead Principal Dancer. During her time with the Company Cojocaru has delighted audiences and critics alike, throughout the UK and internationally, with her performances in both classical and contemporary repertoire.

Acclaimed for both her technical ability and her dramatic interpretation, Cojocaru has received much admiration for her performances with the Company in classical roles including Juliet in both Rudolf Nureyev’s and Derek Deane’s versions of Romeo & Juliet; the title roles in GiselleManon and Cinderella; Medora in Le Corsaire, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Clara in Nutcracker and Odette/ Odile in Swan Lake.

Cojocaru has also garnered high praise for her artistry and on-stage presence in performances in contemporary works whilst with the Company: Approximate Sonata 2016In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Spring and Fall, No Man’s Land, Second Breath and Akram Khan’s Giselle in which she performed the title role in the 2016 world premiere.

Whilst dancing with English National Ballet, Cojocaru has twice been awarded the Critic’s Circle National Dance Award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical), in 2017 for her portrayal of the title role in Akram Khan’s Giselle and in 2018 for her performance as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, and Danza & Danza Dancer of the Year 2019.

Whilst Cojocaru’s last on-stage performance with the Company was in January 2020 as Clara in Nutcracker at the London Coliseum, her performances continued to enchant audiences around the world through English National Ballet’s recent series of Wednesday Watch Parties in which she appeared in ManonCinderella and Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet.

English National Ballet’s Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo CBE said: “It has been an absolute privilege to have an artist of Alina’s calibre as part of the English National Ballet family. I am so thankful for her immense contribution to the company over the past 7 years, and I hope to welcome her back as a guest in the future.”